Soh Rui Yong ‘Challenged’ Ashley Liew to Donate the $180K He Received to S’pore Sports


There are a lot of adjectives to describe top national marathon runner Soh Rui Yong.

Brash, daring, self-righteous, and with a competitive streak that is 32-kilometres-long.

Have your pick of words; all of them have bad and good connotations to them, depending on context.

And no, that definitely wasn’t a Harry Potter reference.

The Gist of the Lawsuit

As many readers should be aware, considering the vast number of articles covering this topic, Ashley Liew sued Soh Rui Yong for defamation in 2019.

The heart of the issue?

Whether Ashley Liew had truly performed an act of sportsmanship at the 2015 SEA Games Marathon, where he had chosen to wait for his fellow participants to catch up instead of speeding along when he realised that they had missed the correct U-turn, which placed him in the lead by 50m.

In that marathon, Mr Soh had clinched the gold medal, while Dr Liew took the eighth place.


Between 2015 and 2019, and through the two-year lawsuit, Mr Soh persisted in his belief that Dr Liew hadn’t slowed down at all, but this also indirectly insinuates that Dr Liew is undeserving of being the first Singaporean to receive the esteemed Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy and the 2016 Singapore Sports Award given by the Singapore National Olympics Council (SNOC).

Given that the defamation lawsuit was filed, you can imagine that Dr Liew wasn’t pleased with the slander and ruining of his own reputation, especially when it has been a globally acknowledged fact.

If you would like to read more into Mr Soh’s view point on the entire matter, you can read his blog post.

He’s an aspiring lawyer and far better at explaining the sports-oriented jargon and presenting his own case.

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The Outcome of the Defamation Lawsuit

In 2021, the lawsuit came to a close with Judge Lee Li Choon ruling in Ashley Liew’s favour.

For the damages dealt to his reputation, plus the aggravated damages, Soh Rui Yong was ordered to pay Ashley Liew a sum of S$180,000, which was settled quickly through crowdfunding.

Afterwards, Mr Soh filed for an appeal, but it was dismissed by High Court Valerie Thean during last Monday’s (28 Mar) hearing.

Not only did Justice Thean uphold Judge Lee’s initial decision, but she also told Mr Soh to pay $18,000 in costs for the appeal hearing.


This is on top of the $125,000 that Mr Soh was ordered to pay for the entire proceeding of the district court trial.

Soh Challenges Liew to Prove His Sportsmanship

In total, Dr Liew received $320,000 from Mr Soh due to the lawsuit.

It can be said that he came out completely victorious.

Now, Mr Soh proves that he’s still a wild card as per usual because he issues an open challenge to Ashley Liew on Facebook and his blog:

Donate the S$180,000 you received in damages to Singapore Sports to prove your sportsmanship.


Before giving your two cents, the challenge isn’t exactly unreasonable: most of the money that Dr Liew received in damages came from a crowdfund that supported Mr Soh’s case.

In essence, it’s the public’s money.

Therefore, Mr Soh asks Dr Liew to “give it back to Singapore, and Singapore Sports”.

Mr Soh even offers another suggestion, “Use the entire $180,000 in damages for your ‘loss of reputation’ and ‘hurt, distress, and embarrassment’ to set up a fund or scholarship that benefits the athletes of Singapore.”

As long as the money is given to the potential athletes that need it, Soh is wholly content to let this case drop, and let bygones be bygones with this good deed.

Lastly, Soh ends off his post with one line:


“Whatever you choose to do, I wish you all the best in the future.”

Talk about making a statement.

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Featured Image: runsohfast