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Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim, Teong Tzen Wei fined for breaching conduct rules during SEA Games: SNOC

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling was also issued a conditional warning after the three swimmers recently admitted to consuming controlled drugs overseas.

Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim, Teong Tzen Wei fined for breaching conduct rules during SEA Games: SNOC

Singapore swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei. (Photo: TODAY/Nuria Ling, AFP/Andy Buchanan, AFP/Attila Kisbendek)

SINGAPORE: Fines have been imposed on national swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei for breaching rules in the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) code of conduct during the SEA Games. 

The three athletes recently confessed to consuming controlled drugs overseas, prompting the SNOC to launch disciplinary proceedings to investigate possible breaches.

At the conclusion of the investigations, SNOC said on Monday (Oct 31) that it decided to fine Olympic champion Schooling S$10,000.

He was also given a conditional warning - if he consumes prohibited drugs or breaches any rules in the code of conduct in the future, he will be debarred from selection for all major games for two years.

According to SNOC, Schooling breached several rules in the code of conduct.

Some of the rules included the prohibition of gambling and smoking at all times and taking any drugs or medication without the prior consent of the doctor of the Singapore team.

The code of conduct also stated that participants should inform the Chef de Mission of their whereabouts if they leave the games accommodation, and that they are not allowed to pursue their own activities without prior approval. 

Schooling breached both those rules, as well as a daily "lights out" rule from 11pm to 6am. He also broke a rule that only allowed participants to drink alcohol after they have completed all their respective events at the games.

Lim, who had been given a stern warning by the Central Narcotics Bureau for possessing a drug utensil, was fined S$2,800 by SNOC.

A S$3,200 fine was imposed on Teong. 

Both athletes were found to have breached the rule that stated participants should "uphold the good name of the Republic of Singapore and the SNOC, and display exemplary behaviour at all times". 

The sanctions on Lim and Teong relate to the 2019 SEA Games team membership agreement and code of conduct, while those against Schooling were imposed over the 2021 SEA Games.

SNOC said that the disciplinary committee reviewed the relevant evidence and heard from the three athletes in person, adding that they were fully cooperative throughout the entire process.

"The athletes admitted to various incidents and conduct which amounted to transgressions of the SNOC code of conduct which formed part of each of the applicable team membership agreements," it added, noting that the athletes recognise that they are role models and held to higher standards.

"The SNOC takes the conduct of athletes seriously and it is regrettable that these athletes have erred. They have been penalised by different bodies and have suffered the consequences, and we hope they will learn from this experience to emerge as stronger individuals."

The fines collected will be donated to the Singapore Olympic Foundation, a charity which supports athletes and the development of sports in Singapore. 

The swimmers' prize money for winning medals at the SEA Games, which had been on hold, has been released to all three of them, said SNOC. 

"Imposing sanctions on three of Singapore’s most outstanding swimmers has not been a pleasant task for the disciplinary committee," said SNOC. 

"However, regardless of past achievements, discipline has to be maintained both in and out of the sporting arena, and the SNOC code of conduct has to be upheld and breaches thereof enforced with firmness laced with the appropriate level of empathy.

"In arriving at its sanctions in this case, the disciplinary committee has tried to balance the objective of deterring athletes from engaging in serious conduct which breaches the code of conduct in future major games, with the need to avoid a sanction that is disproportionate to the breaches committed."

Source: CNA/lk(gs)
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