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Decision on Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim's prize money not finalised, pending outcome of case on cannabis use: SNOC

Joseph Schooling won two golds and a bronze during the Hanoi SEA Games while Amanda Lim won a gold and a silver. Both swimmers had been investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau for possible offences related to cannabis use. 

Decision on Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim's prize money not finalised, pending outcome of case on cannabis use: SNOC

Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim. (Photos: Facebook/Team Singapore, Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE: The decision on whether to give Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim their prize money for their performance at recent sporting competitions has not been finalised, said the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).

It will be put on hold pending the outcome of SNOC's findings, said a spokesperson in response to CNA's queries on Thursday (Sep 15).

This follows the announcement last month that the swimmers had been investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) for possible offences related to cannabis use. 

“We are currently in the course of gathering the necessary findings to ensure a fair process for the athletes involved,” said an SNOC spokesperson.

“As part of the commitment of a major Games athlete, they are obliged to a stipulated code of conduct as set out in the team membership agreement. This includes the period outside of the Games period,” added the spokesperson.

“Their prize money is on hold pending the outcome of the process. A decision has not been finalised at the moment.”

On Wednesday, 68 athletes who won medals during the SEA Games and Commonwealth Games were awarded up to S$860,000 for their achievements.

Schooling, who won two golds and one bronze in Hanoi, was absent from the Major Games Award Programme (MAP) awards presentation and Team Singapore appreciation dinner on Wednesday. 

The MAP rewards medallists of the SEA, Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games. Under the programme which is sponsored by the Tote Board, medallists receive cash based on the major Games event and medal won.

For a SEA Games gold, an individual athlete will be rewarded S10,000. A gold is worth S$15,000 in a team event, and S$30,000 in a team sport.

Last month, Schooling confessed to consuming cannabis overseas in May when he was on short-term disruption from full-time National Service (NS) to train and participate in the SEA Games.

Given his abuse of disruption privileges, MINDEF had said Schooling will no longer be eligible for leave or disruption to train or compete while in NS.

Schooling issued an apology, saying that he “gave in to a moment of weakness” after going through a very tough period in his life. 

Lim was given a stern warning by CNB under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam later added that she had a "drug utensil". 

In an apology, the swimmer said there is “no excuse” for her actions and that she will “take the warning given to me seriously and reflect on my mistakes”.

Lim has represented Singapore for more than a decade, winning multiple Southeast Asian Games medals. She also recently competed at the Commonwealth Games.

Mr Shanmugam said there was "no clear evidence" that Schooling and Lim were taking drugs at the time of testing.

He added that the two swimmers were "honest" and admitted to having taken drugs in the past.

Source: CNA/ng

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