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Obiena moves on, shifts focus on Paris Olympics

FILIPINO pole vault ace Ernest John «EJ» Obiena said he's now shifting his full attention to his 2024 Paris Olympics preparation, having cleared his name from doping allegations that hounded him for almost two weeks.

For Obiena, the doping issue is already water under the bridge as he revealed that he passed 34 doping tests since turning professional, including 11 this year, as well as the polygraph and EyeDetect tests he recently took.

In those tests, Obiena was asked if he doped or if he was involved in match-fixing activities and he said no. The results of those separate tests showed that Obiena wasn't lying with his answers.

«I have no desire to disrupt my Paris Olympics preparation in pursuing a legal case. I also would like to keep the close-knit nature of the elite pole vault community and have no desire to disrupt these dynamics. So, I am prepared to accept a full and complete apology and move on. This is what I believe the bigger person would do,» wrote Obiena in a Facebook post on Thursday night, October 26.

The apology Obiena was talking about was the one from Anais Lavillenie, wife or former Olympic champ Renaud of France, the one who accused that Obiena's been doping his way to where he is now, the world No. 2 pole vaulter, a fortnight ago.

Anais made the accusation in the comments section of Vaulter Magazine Facebook page which shared The Manila Times' post reporting Obiena's statement that he believes that he can beat world No. 1 and record holder Armand «Mondo» Duplantis.

«I received today the attached apology letter from Anais Lavillenie. I accept this. She admits she was wrong and she admits what she did was wrong. This fact, alongside all other facts, makes it clear. I am a 100% CLEAN ATHLETE,» said Obiena, who posted Anais' public apology letter in the post he made.

Obiena, the Asian Games king and Asian record holder of 6.0 meters, asked his fans to stop bombarding Anais and Renaud with negative messages on social media though, encouraging them to be the bigger person.

«This for me closes this matter. I want to thank everyone who stood behind me and supported me. In particular Coach Vitali Petrov, Mr. James Michael Lafferty, Mr. Capistrano,