Cycling's Angs involved in ugly spat
SEA Games bronze-winner Ang admits slapping national teammate
It all had the makings of a feel-good story: the bad boy given a chance for redemption.
He stumbled a little initially, then dug deep to come good and win a medal in front of a home crowd at the SEA Games here last month.
Cycling owned the heart-warming story of Vincent Ang, who shrugged off controversy to win a bronze in the men's criterium in his SEA Games debut.
But, less than a month later, Ang has made headlines for the wrong reasons again, with the controversy possibly pointing at cracks within the fraternity .
National cyclist Ang Kee Meng, 27, confirmed with The New Paper yesterday that he has made a police report against his unrelated namesake, after two incidents that occurred on Sunday in which he was allegedly assaulted.
Speaking to TNP, the older Ang, 38, admitted to slapping the back of his fellow national cyclist, and pushing his helmet while both men were cycling. He also admitted to slapping Kee Meng later that day at Adam Road Food Centre.
This occurred after Ang had reprimanded another cyclist after a disagreement on the road.
"I'm wrong. I shouldn't have slapped him and I regret doing that," said the bronze medallist.
"I cannot brush off the fact that I did that, but frustration has been building up in me for a very long time."
Ang alleged that his younger counterpart had previously made disparaging comments about him and his wife, which led to a confrontation.
While Kee Meng admitted to making comments about Vincent and his wife, he claimed it was "a joke" between him and his friends.
He said he had apologised, but the two men had differing views over whether it was accepted.
Others in the fraternity told TNP of the existence of factions which often led to spats.
"There is a lot of unhappiness in the community, with one group backing its own cyclists, and actually going against the cyclists of other groups, and this division is also evident within the national team," said a source, who declined to be named.
"It really is a matter of a lack of trust and respect within the fraternity."
Veteran Ang is no stranger to controversy.
In February, pictures of him cycling with his two-year-old son in one hand and mobile phone in the other - all this while wearing the national jersey - were posted online.
A month later, he was involved in an incident with a car driver who allegedly ran over Ang's bicycle.
The Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) acknowledged the latest incident and is looking into the matter.
"We don't condone this behaviour, and we will be investigating the matter, including meeting with Vincent," said SCF general manager Mahipal Singh.
"The police report won't affect our investigations. The report was made by Kee Meng, and he has also shared with us his version of what happened.
"Upon the conclusion of our investigations - we will also consult Sport Singapore on the matter - we will table our recommendations."
The broader implications of the incident are not lost on the SCF.
Said Mahipal: "This doesn't bode well for the sport - whether on the field of play or off it, we should not be fighting."