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Singapore Athletics, marathoner Soh Rui Yong call truce over legal dispute

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Singapore's Soh Rui Yong celebrates winning the men's marathon gold at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
Singapore's Soh Rui Yong celebrates winning the men's marathon gold at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. (FILE PHOTO: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee / Action Images via Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Singapore marathoner Soh Rui Yong has withdrawn and discontinued all his lawsuits against Singapore Athletics (SA), after the two sides decided to put an end to their disagreements.

The truce is a major boost for the new SA management team, led by Lien Choong Luen, who were elected into power on 25 September. Among their campaign promises, Lien and his team had pledged to prioritise the resolution of legal issues SA had become embroiled in over the last two years,

In a media statement on Friday (16 October), SA said that it will:

  • unconditionally withdraw the portion of its media statement on 3 August 2019 stating that Soh had “on several occasions breached (SA’s) Athletic Code of Conduct” and “(for) his transgressions, (SA) had attempted to counsel and reason with him, as part of a holistic rehabilitation process”;

  • extends its sincere apology to Soh for any inconvenience and distress that the aforesaid statement caused him;

  • stand down the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the outgoing management on 25 September against Soh.

On his part, Soh – a two-time SEA Games men’s marathon gold medallist – acknowledged that as an athlete who has represented Singapore and as one of the country’s brightest athletic prospects, he is a role model for younger athletes. He will henceforth work with SA and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to promote a positive image of the sport.

SA committed to support Soh again

SA said in the media statement that it is committed to supporting the 29-year-old to don national colours and compete for Singapore again.

“With this chapter behind him, Soh shares the association’s sentiment and ambitions,” SA added. “He is more determined than ever to break new ground by becoming the first Singaporean man to qualify for the Commonwealth Games marathon and Asian Games marathon.”

The lawsuit was initiated by Soh in August last year, following comments made by SA after the SNOC rejected its nomination of the marathoner for the 2019 SEA Games.

Hours after the SA media statement on Friday, its executive director Malik Aljunied, who is also involved in a legal dispute with Soh, announced his departure from the association. He indicated that he would be returning to SNOC, his previous employer.

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