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Marathoner Soh Rui Yong Faces Disciplinary Charges by Outgoing SA Committee

Editor’s note: this article was first published on 28 September 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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National marathoner Soh Rui Yong received a letter detailing disciplinary charges against him by the outgoing management committee of Singapore Athletics (SA). The letter, dated 25 September, was also the same day a new committee headed by Lien Choong Luen was elected to power.

Charges over interviews and social media

The outgoing committee led by former president Tang Weng Fei has accused Soh of six counts of breaching the code of conduct over media interviews and social media posts.

The letter provided information of one count for “failing to obtain SA’s written permission prior to providing interview(s) and/or appearance(s) and/or interaction(s) with the media”.

The other five charges were for social media posts by Soh. SA accused Soh of “[acting] in a manner which was likely to affect adversely the reputation of SA, and/or in a manner likely to bring the sport into disrepute, and/or failed to exhibit good sportsmanship by respecting officials from Singapore.”

Continued spats between Soh and Tang

This is not the first time Tang’s team has been on the end of a feud with the two-time SEA Games gold medallist. They are also currently embroiled in legal proceedings over Soh’s comments regarding his non-selection for last year’s SEA Games.

Soh has been vocal over his disappointment in Tang’s team and how they have handled issues regarding his purported breaches of the code. He has sought clarification of the matter numerous times without getting a clear answer from the outgoing committee.

New committee to review charges

The new committee had only just learnt about the legal proceedings over the weekend, according to reports by The Straits Times. Lien said that they will be taking time to review these issues.

“As the new MC, it is our responsibility to implement and take it forward but only after we have independently reviewed the grounds for the [disciplinary charges],” he said.

Update: A truce is called

Soh Rui Yong has withdrawn and discontinued his lawsuits against Singapore Athletics (SA), in a truce between the two.

SA posted a statement last Friday, 16 October that the SEA Games marathon champion has agreed to end their high-profile legal dispute.

Hours later, SA executive director Malik Aljunied, who was also involved in the lawsuits with Soh, then announced his departure from the association.

The truce comes shortly after SA voted in a new management team led by Lien Choong Luen at the association’s annual general meeting last month. Lien had told media that the new management committee (MC) would have to review these issues.

SA also said that they are committed to supporting Soh again, that he might compete for Singapore once more.

 

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