Ernest John “EJ” Obiena slammed the Olympic Channel for publishing a headline article without the online sports magazine interviewing the Tokyo Olympics-bound pole vaulter.
Worse, the magazine quoted Obiena as saying “Armand [Duplantis] is good but I can be the best.”
Obiena aired his disgust on his Facebook account and called the article as “irresponsible journalism.”
The article was entitled “Filipino eagle EJ Obiena: Armand Duplantis is good, but I can be the best’ and was written by one of the magazine’s staff, Ken Browne.
“I just read something today and I was quoted in the article with some provocative statements. To be clear: I have never spoken with the Olympic Channel nor did I EVER make such statements,” Obiena said in his post.
“To the people who know me, they know through personal experience that I would never say such a statement. Whilst I am of course confident in my own capabilities and potential, I respect all of my competitors and most of them are my friends. I would never say anything to disparage my competition,” added the 24-year-old in his post.
Obiena has requested the Olympic Channel to correct the article and remove the statements attributed to him.
“I definitely did not make this statement, even privately. I believe it is irresponsible journalism to quote someone who has never even been asked for comments!” he said. “As I am writing this post, I have sent a parallel a request to Olympic Channel to remove the quote and correct the article.”
Obiena is training at the World Pole Vault Centre in Formia, Italy, and his hard work recently earned him a gold medal at the 59th World Athletics Continental Tour Gold circuit in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
Obiena cleared the bar at 5.74 meters, his season-best, in winning the gold over London 2012 Olympics champion Renaud Lavillenie of France and 2017 World Championships winner Sam Kendricks of the US.
Lavillenie also cleared 5.74m but Obiena won the countback. Kendricks clinched bronze with 5.64m.
The gold was a fitting followup to the silver he clinched at the 13th Triveneto International Meeting in Trieste, Italy, last August, and the bronze medal he bagged at the Monaco leg of the Diamond League later in the month.