Marathoner Soh gets warning letter from SNOC for breach of regulations
The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) yesterday issued marathoner Soh Rui Yong a formal warning, following an infringement of regulations regarding the promotion of personal sponsors during the sponsors' blackout period ahead of the SEA Games.
In a statement sent to the media yesterday, SNOC secretary general Chris Chan said that Soh had "reneged on his promises" made during meetings with SEA Games chef de mission Milan Kwee and athletics team manager Yip Ren Kai last week.
Chan also said the 26-year-old athlete, who won the marathon gold medal at the SEA Games two years ago, "repeatedly breached the team membership agreement" despite many reminders and constant guidance offered to him.
As a result, Toh Boon Yi, the co-chairman of the Major Games Preparation Committee - which has been administrating and managing the SEA Games 2017 athletics team since June - issued him a formal warning, advising him to cease the infringements, failing which, disciplinary proceedings will follow accordingly.
Chan said Soh has agreed to comply from now on.
Added Chan: "Representing Singapore at the major Games is a privilege which many athletes hope for, but also one that must be treated with utmost respect and responsibility on the part of an athlete.
"As representatives and ambassadors of the country, there is a code of conduct which athletes and officials have to abide to. There is no exception to this.
"We hope Rui Yong will now focus on this preparations seriously and cooperate with the officials to get ready for the SEA Games."
When contacted, Soh said: "I have been given the assurance in writing that this issue will be revisited after the SEA Games.
"Hopefully the conclusion will be more supportive of the athletes and the difficulties they face getting funding and sponsorship."
The sponsorship issue stemmed from Soh's unhappiness with SNOC's sponsors' blackout rule, which prohibits Team Singapore athletes from using their name for "promotional or advertising purposes" without permission.
This includes promoting their personal sponsors on social media.
For the Kuala Lumpur Games, which officially begin this Saturday and end on Aug 30, the rule is in effect from Aug 5 to Sept 5.
Soh will now turn his attention to the marathon race on Saturday, where he will attempt to win a second consecutive SEA Games gold medal.