Obiena case exposes need for Ombudsman

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EJ Obiena at the stands after an attempt in the men's pole vault qualification

A simple case of liquidation blew up into a major controversy, opening the PSC’s eyes to the need for an independent problem solver in sports. —INQUIRER PHOTO

The recent controversy between pole vault star EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) has clued in Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chair William Ramirez on what needs to be done to avoid a similar public feud in the future.

“What happened between EJ and Patafa is not [all] bad. This is a good starting point that we should have a sports ombudsman,’’ said Ramirez on Thursday.

Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom are just some of the nations whose governments have installed a sports ombudsman of their own to maintain public confidence that sports are conducted ethically.

The establishment of a national sports ombudsman can likewise function to resolve disputes…

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