SINGAPORE — National swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei were fined $10,000, $2,800 and $3,200 respectively by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on Monday (31 October) for breaching its code of conduct.
The trio had earlier admitted to consuming illicit drugs - believed to be cannabis - while representing Team Singapore in overseas competitions.
SNOC said in a media release on Monday that its disciplinary committee (DC) reviewed the relevant evidence and heard from the three athletes in person.
"The athletes admitted to various incidents and conduct which amounted to transgressions of the SNOC Code of Conduct," it said.
"Our athletes recognise that they are role models and held to higher standards. However, we understand that there can be lapses of judgment as evidenced in these recent incidents.
"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."
Schooling may be barred from selection for future breaches
In its statement, SNOC said that Schooling, 27, was found to have breached several rules of the Code of Conduct during the SEA Games in Hanoi in May this year.
These include rules related to consumption of alcohol, drugs or medication, accountability as well as gambling and smoking.
In addition to the $10,000 fine, Schooling was also issued with a conditional warning that, should he breach any Code of Conduct rule or be found to have consumed any drugs prohibited by Singapore law in the future, he will be barred from being selection for all major Games for two years.
Schooling declined comment when contacted by Yahoo News Singapore.
Meanwhile, Lim, 29, was found to have breached rules related to behaviour and conduct during the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines. She was fined $2,800 for the breaches.
Teong, 25, was found to have breached rules related to behaviour and conduct during the 2019 SEA Games. He was fined $3,200.
Not been a pleasant task: SNOC
SNOC said in its media statement that imposing sanctions on three of Singapore's most outstanding swimmers "has not been a pleasant task".
However, it insisted that discipline has to be maintained regardless of past achievements, and breaches to its Code of Conduct has to be enforced with firmness, laced with the "appropriate level of empathy".
"The DC hopes that the athletes will each accept and learn from their mistakes, and put their undoubted talent in the pool to better use for Singapore and themselves in the future," SNOC said in its media release.
"While they are each outstanding athletes in their own right, their conduct and behaviour during and after each major games ought to be exemplary too and consistent with their being role models for young and aspiring swimmers and other athletes."
All fines collected by the SNOC will be donated to the Singapore Olympic Foundation, a charity which supports athletes and the development of sports in Singapore.
Meanwhile, SNOC has also released the award monies from the Major Games Awards Programme (MAP) to all three athletes.
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