Athletics official under police probe for alleged molest
Veteran coach and administrator takes leave of absence from SA amid police probe into molest allegations
Loh Chan Pew has taken a leave of absence from his role as vice-president (competitions organising) of Singapore Athletics (SA) amid a police investigation, after a former national athlete accused him of molest in 2010.
This was confirmed by athletics chief Ho Mun Cheong yesterday.
It is understood former deputy superintendent of prisons Loh, 71 (above), spent five hours being questioned by police on Tuesday.
He made his decision to step down from his post in SA in a three-hour meeting on Wednesday night.
Ho told The New Paper yesterday: "We had a meeting where Chan Pew gave his letter to the executive committee.
"He told us that, in view of the police investigation, he would like to take a leave of absence as VP, with immediate effect.
"The exco accepted it... (because) this is in the best interests of SA."
Ho added that he would undertake Loh's duties in SA, until the case is over.
The allegation made against Loh is another blow for the SA.
On June 24, TNP reported that the association suspended one of its coaches amid an investigation into improper conduct toward three female national athletes.
It is understood the SA has made a police report on the matter, and the coach has since left his role in the association.
A week later, at the national athletics' body's annual general meeting, a verbal dispute arose after the initial vote for a new president to succeed Tang Weng Fei, was tied.
Ho emerged the winner after a second vote, pipping lawyer Edmond Pereira by a single vote.
His team went on to sweep 12 out of the 14 posts of the SA executive committee.
Now, Loh, who was in Ho's camp during the elections, is in the news.
It is not the first time he has had to leave his post at the SA.
In February 2014, while also in the same capacity, Loh was suspended for "aggressive behaviour" at a previous exco meeting.
He was also cited for sending a complaint to the national sports body Sport Singapore, alleging then SA general manager James Wong had, among other things, submitted excessive mileage claims while using the association's official vehicle.
The SA's vice-president (training & selection) then, Steven Lee, was also suspended after he contacted the world athletics body IAAF without Tang's knowledge, contravening SA operating procedures.
Wong was later cleared by an SA board of inquiry, whose findings were supported by Sport Singapore.
Two months after being slapped with the bans, though, Loh and Lee had their suspensions lifted by an independent panel chaired by veteran sports administrator Low Teo Ping, after it found the process of suspension was not robust enough.