SAA soften stance against Yang

The Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) will not proceed with legal action against national pole vaulter Rachel Yang.

The women's record-holder has been embroiled in a row with the national sports association over a Facebook post she put up last month, which the SAA says was defamatory to its sports development and performance chief, Asmah Hanim.

Even though Yang took the post down after "less than eight hours", the SAA threatened to take legal action against her unless she posted an apology on her Facebook.

The deadline for the apology passed last Friday, while the 32-year-old was in Busan, South Korea, to compete at an athletics meet.

However, at a press conference at his Collyer Quay office yesterday, SAA president Tang Weng Fei said: "We've decided we are not going to take action. We reserve our right but, at the moment, we are not going to do anything.

"We know that financially, they are in a tough (situation). So, on compassionate grounds, we decided to hold on.

"But the press must know what happened. There's no fault on Asmah or the SAA."

C Kunalan, who will stand as vice-president (training and selection) in Tang's team as the oil trader seeks a third term as SAA chief in elections next month, revealed he had tried to speak to David Yeo, Yang's husband and coach, in a bid to resolve the situation.

But Kunalan claimed he was rebuffed.

"All we are asking for is a simple apology and not in the press but on Facebook," said the former national 100m record-holder.

"We don't need to (take legal action).

"All she has to do is say sorry and continue jumping."

But Yang, who set a national best of 3.82m in 2011, is still unhappy.

She insisted that she removed her Facebook posting on Asmah not because she felt she was in the wrong, but because of their friendship, which goes back to their school days.

"He (Tang) said it (not taking legal action) was on compassionate grounds and I find that ridiculous," she said.

"I cannot accept his comments, because he's still implying I'm in the wrong."