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 EJ Obiena's long time mentor Jim Lafferty revealed the Filipino pole vaulter has several offer from "multiple countries," even before he got entangled in a dispute with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

The 26-year Obiena is the Asian record holder in No.5 spot in September before he slipped to No.6.

"Long before this happened, there was already a line of people at his door to offer him a passport," Lafferty told One News 'The Big Story in an interview with Gretchen Ho.  

The rift started when PATAFA ordered Obiena to return 85,000 Euros (over P4.8 million), which was intended to pay for the salary of his foreign coach. He is also ordered to prove that he has been paying Vitaliy Petrov from 2018 onwards.

But Petrov later appeared saying his salary has already been paid.

"It's no secret in today's world that a number of countries are looking at this situation and laughing uncontrollably how the Philippines is driving away a world-class athlete that they can offer a passport to," Lafferty said.

Lafferty thinks that Obiena will never vault for the Philippines again if the situation will continue, unsettled.

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