Swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim, Teong Tzen Wei fined by SNOC for breaching conduct rules
National swimmers Joseph Schooling, Amanda Lim and Teong Tzen Wei have been fined $10,000, $$2,800 and $3,200 respectively by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) for breaching its code of conduct.
Olympic champion Schooling was also issued a conditional warning after the trio earlier admitted to consuming illicit drugs.
An SNOC spokesperson said on Monday that its disciplinary committee (DC) has concluded its investigations into possible breaches of the team membership agreements for the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games by the three swimmers after reviewing relevant evidence and hearing from the them in person.
In addition to the $10,000 fine, Schooling, 27, will be debarred from selection for all major games for two years should he be found by SNOC to have consumed drugs prohibited by Singapore law or breach any rule of the SNOC Code of Conduct in the future.
SNOC said in its statement that Schooling was found to have breached several rules of the code, including those related to consumption of alcohol, drugs or medication, accountability as well as gambling and smoking.
Lim, 29, and Teong, 25, were fined $2,800 and $3,200 respectively as they were found to have breached rules related to behaviour and conduct.
On Aug 30, Schooling and Lim were revealed to have had consumed cannabis overseas. Close to a month later on Sept 28, it was revealed that Commonwealth Games silver medallist Teong also admitted to consuming a controlled drug overseas.
The trio were investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau for drug-related offences but all their urine tests came up negative.
National agency Sport Singapore had also earlier conducted an internal review before suspending support for the three athletes for a month from Oct 1, after also considering the trio’s breach of their athlete agreement with the national agency and Singapore’s stance towards drug abuse.
The SNOC spokesperson also noted that the athletes admitted to various incidents and conduct “which amounted to transgressions” of the code of conduct and were “fully co-operative throughout the entire process”.
He 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. What is critical is how the athletes respond when it occurs; if they acknowledge the lapses and to genuinely seek to make amends.
“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.”
In meting out the sanctions, the DC has tried to “balance the objective of deterring athletes from engaging in serious conduct which breach the code of conduct in future major games, with the need to avoid a sanction that is disproportionate to the breaches committed”.
The spokesperson added: “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.
“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.
“The DC wishes them the very best in their future endeavours, and hopes to see them focused on achieving success and winning more medals and breaking more records in future major games and competitions.
All fines collected will be donated to the Singapore Olympic Foundation. The Major Games Award Programme prize money that the athletes earned from winning medals at the 2021 SEA Games and 2022 Commonwealth Games has been released to all three swimmers after it was initially withheld from Schooling and Lim and Schooling, who were initially expected to pocket $13,750 and $3,750 respectively.