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SportSG to decide on steps to be taken after Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim investigated for cannabis use

Joseph Schooling and fellow national swimmer Amanda Lim were investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau for possible offences related to the consumption of cannabis, says SportSG.

SportSG to decide on steps to be taken after Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim investigated for cannabis use
Amanda Lim and Joseph Schooling after a race at the 2018 FINA Swimming World Cup in Singapore. The two TeamSG swimmers admitted to taking cannabis overseas, SportSG said on Tuesday (Aug 30). (File photo: Facebook/Team Singapore, Singapore Swimming Association, Simone Castrovillari)

SINGAPORE: Sport Singapore (SportSG) said it takes a serious view of national athletes' misconduct after swimmers Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim were investigated for cannabis use.

Schooling, Singapore's first and only Olympic champion, admitted to consuming the drug in May when he was on short-term disruption from full-time National Service (NS) to train and participate in the Southeast Asian Games, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Tuesday (Aug 30).

The CNB referred the 27-year-old to MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for actions to be taken as he is undergoing NS. 

Lim, 29, was issued a stern warning by CNB under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

SportSG noted that Lim and Schooling are currently national carded athletes who receive support from the agency.

"All TeamSG athletes are expected to uphold the highest standards of conduct as representatives of Singapore on the sporting world stage, at all times. Unlawful or unsportsmanlike conduct will not be condoned," said SportSG.

"SportSG intends to thoroughly review the circumstances behind these cases, and determine the appropriate steps to be taken thereafter."

It added that the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) will also be reviewing appropriate actions on their part.

"Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance stance towards drugs. SportSG and SSA will be engaging the swimming and other sporting fraternities to underscore the importance of complying with Singapore’s laws on drugs at all times," said SportSG.

SSA president Mark Chay said that the association is disappointed by Lim and Schooling's actions.

"Drugs have no place in our society and we take a zero-tolerance stance towards illegal drug use," he added.

"This message, along with the expectations for our national athletes to uphold the highest standards of conduct, will be strongly reinforced amongst our community through our national coaches and affiliates."

A senior member of the organising committee of the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi told CNA on Wednesday that he has no information to provide at the moment in relation to Schooling’s cannabis use.

The official said that random samples were collected from all medal winners, adding that SEA Games organisers strictly follow doping control codes of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Schooling won two gold medals and a bronze at the SEA Games in Hanoi.

SCHOOLING, LIM APOLOGISE

Schooling issued a public apology on his Instagram Stories on Tuesday, shortly after statements issued by MINDEF and SportSG.

"I gave in to a moment of weakness after going through a very tough period of my life. I demonstrated bad judgment and I am sorry," he said.

"I made a mistake and I’m responsible for what I’ve done. I will make amends and right what is wrong. I won’t let you down again."

Lim also posted an apology on Instagram Stories on Tuesday night.

"To all my supporters, family and friends, I am deeply sorry for my actions," she wrote. "There is no excuse and I will take the warning given to me seriously and reflect on my mistakes."

Schooling will be placed on a supervised urine test regime for six months, said MINDEF.

"All SAF personnel who test positive during this regime will be charged and sentenced accordingly," it added.

Schooling will also no longer be eligible for leave or disruption to train or compete while serving NS, the Defence Ministry said.

Source: CNA/nh
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