By Waylon Galvez
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez is expected to take action following ‘bullying’ allegations posted on social media by Fil-Japanese karateka Junna Tsukii against the team’s foreign coach.
Several hours after winning the gold medal in the -50kg Kumite category, Tsukii took to her Facebook account and share a lengthy and troubling post apparently against the team’s Turkish coach Okay Arpa.
According to a source, the PSC chief has already been informed of Tsukii’s allegation, and said the government sports agency will take a look at the matter before taking necessary action.
“The chairman has been made aware of the allegations made by Junna Tsukii,” said the source, who requested not to be named, not having the authority to discuss the matter.
“Of course, the PSC will take action, the same with other issues,” he added.
As the government’s arm in sports development, the PSC finances not just the training of national athletes but also the hiring of foreign coaches as requested by different national sports associations.
The Bulletin reached out to Philippine Karatedo Federation head Ricky Lim and Arpa for their comment, but both of them declined.
“No comment muna, ongoing ang event namin e,” said Lim.
Tsukii defeated Dinh Thi Huong of Vietnam for her first gold medal in the biennial meet, two years after a disappointing semifinal loss in Kuala Lumpur.
However, during the team meeting Saturday night after Day 1 of the karatedo competition, Arpa reportedly singled out Tsukii for disparage.
In a lengthy and emotional Facebook post, the 28-year-old athlete bared her feelings.
“Thank you so much for supporting and cheering me today,” she said. “I’m really happy to win a gold medal at the second Sea Games in my country. But now I’m very sad, even I have gold medal.”
Tsukii said the cold treatment began after she came back last November from the World Senior Championship in Madrid, Spain. She said that was when Arpa started not to talk to her even as she trained for the SEA Games.
A source said that Arpa did not approve of Tsukii’s stint in Madrid. The athlete, however, pushed through with it with the help of sponsors.