Singapore Athletics to investigate officials involved in leaked WhatsApp chat
Singapore Athletics (SA) president Ho Mun Cheong has set up a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate a leaked WhatsApp chat that was reported widely by media last month.
In the WhatsApp conversation, which was not dated, SA vice-president (training and selection) Dr Govindasamy Balasekaran had instructed staff to "get good evidence" to be shown to "P" - understood to be Ho - and "force him to get disciplinary action" on coaches Margaret Oh and David Yeo.
Oh and Yeo both coach national athletes. Oh most notably groomed sprint queen Veronica Shanti Pereira into a SEA Games champion while Yeo's proteges hold both the men's and women's national pole vault records.
In an e-mail sent to the SA management committee, its affiliates, national sports agency SportSG and the Singapore National Olympic Council earlier today, Ho announced the establishment of the BOI, which comprises Dr Leong Lee San, Joe Yap and Terry Tan.
All three are also members of the SA Management Committee - Dr Leong is chairman of race walking, Yap is chairman officials, while Tan, who will head the BOI, is chairman of tug of war - and ran on Ho's slate at SA's elections in June last year.
The e-mail said the BOI will investigate the leaked WhatsApp chat to "ascertain whether there were breaches of proper and appropriate conduct by the parties concerned", and whether such actions, if established, had undermined the interests of the SA.
Five SA officials were named for having allegedly committed breaches of conduct - Dr Balasekaran, technical director Volker Hermann, general manager Jaime Cheong, high performance manager Ong Wan Xin, and sports development and performance senior executive Shalindran Sathiyanesan.
Ho added in the e-mail that the BOI will present its findings to SA's Management Committee, which may then refer the matter to a disciplinary committee to recommend penalties "in accordance with the SA constitution".
More in The New Paper tomorrow (July 6).