Sports fraternity shocked by Joseph Schooling's cannabis use
There was surprise but also sympathy as members of the local sports fraternity reacted on Tuesday (Aug 30) to news of swimmer Joseph Schooling's confession to having consumed cannabis overseas.
National football team captain Hariss Harun said: "The news comes as a surprise, but what's done is done.
"He made a mistake, he confessed, showed remorse, and what is important now is that he gets all the help he needs to stay clean and come back to be the Jo we know."
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Tuesday that Schooling had admitted to consuming cannabis overseas in May when he was on short-term disruption from full-time national service to train and compete in the Hanoi SEA Games from May 12 to 23.
National sports body Sport Singapore also revealed in a statement that the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) had investigated Schooling, 27, and fellow national swimmer Amanda Lim, 29, for the consumption of cannabis.
Lim was subsequently issued a stern warning by the CNB under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Former swimming chief Lee Kok Choy, who served as president of the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) from 2014 to June 2022, said that Schooling and Lim will have to accept the consequences of their actions.
He said: "I must say that when I learnt about the news, I was very shocked.
"In the last eight years, I did not have to deal with anything like this. But the community must know that the SSA does not tolerate the use of any kind of drugs. Investigations will be carried out to learn the full picture of what had happened."
Taking to social media, marathoner Soh Rui Yong was sympathetic towards his fellow national athlete.
He said: "Jo was going through a tough time, going through a loss of fitness and form, the loss of his dad and the loss of his swimming career and his freedom in NS. He shouldn't have smoked cannabis, but it looks like he did so as a coping mechanism."