THE PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) has withdrawn its offer of mediation in resolving the impasse involving Tokyo Olympian pole-vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).

The PSC made the move in response to Mr. Obiena’s declaration posted on his social media accounts that he has declined the offer.

“This action is taken in order to allow the PATAFA to proceed and finalize their investigation, which they suspended in deference to the mediation process which they agreed to submit to with a signed mediation agreement form,” said a PSC statement released by chairman William Ramirez.

The government sports-funding agency though did not discount the possibility of mediating in the future should both parties agree to it.

“However, the PSC is not closing its doors to pursuing this when both parties decide to do so,” it said. “Mediation is a voluntary agreement from all concerned.”

While mediation has been ruled out, the PSC indicated it has continued to stay aware of the issue by looking at pertinent documents related to the matter.

“In the meantime, please be assured that we are also looking at documents and records relative to the matter,” the PSC said.

The PSC did not state though if it will cut funding to both Mr. Obiena and PATAFA due to lack of mediation.

In a social media post last week, Mr. Obiena declined to have the issue mediated saying the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Ethics Committee is already probing the matter.

The dispute started when PATAFA accused Mr. Obiena of allegedly falsifying liquidations regarding payments to the latter’s Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

Mr. Obiena flatly denied it. — Joey Villar