Over the past few weeks, you might have heard of the drug-related news surrounding Singaporean swimmers Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim.
And while some of us might still be in shock, another local swimmer Teong Tzen Wei recently admitted to consuming drugs as well.
If Teong’s name doesn’t sound familiar, here’s all you need to know about him: He participated in the World Championships and Commonwealth Games this year, ending up as a finalist and silver medalist respectively.
Apart from that, Teong, who disrupted his studies at Singapore Management University for his swimming career, is also the swimmer with the best performance in Singapore this year and even became Southeast Asia’s fastest current swimmer in the process.
Even though all three swimmers’ urine tests showed a negative test result for drugs, all three of them admitted to having consumed drugs.
As for Teong’s involvement in drug consumption, here’s everything you need to know.
Just yesterday (28 September), Teong released a statement and apologised to his family, other TeamSG swimmers as well as the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA).
He said, “This is something I deeply regret doing and as an elite athlete, I should have known better. I accept the sanctions given to me and I understand that as a national athlete, I have to adhere to a code of conduct that governs all athletes who wear the Singapore flag.
“I will strive to be a better version of myself and come back from this stronger.”
Former National Swimmer’s Comment
As for what those within the swimming fraternity think of Teong’s apology, former national swimmer David Lim mentioned, “I thought everything had already died down… Teong is a little lucky that he did not have to bear the brunt of the initial news coverage because at that time everyone was talking about it.”
Lim, who is currently the head coach and managing director at Swimfast Aquatic Group added, “This may tarnish his image a little, but this does not take away anything that he has accomplished especially this year.
“It is good that he has come out swiftly to apologise. I hope we can all allow him, Schooling and Amanda the time to reflect and come back stronger.”
In light of recent incidents, SSA president Mark Chay explained that SSA has a “zero-tolerance” stance regarding athletes using controlled drugs.
However, he also harped on the importance of not “ostracising” them from the community, saying, “The three swimmers have realised their mistakes and are remorseful… They will face the consequences [of] their actions.
“More importantly, the association is taking steps for us, as a swimming community, to come together and help our own get back on their feet.”
In the meantime, Teong, along with Lim and Schooling, will not be allowed access to their usual facilities under the High Performance Scheme for a month, starting from 1 October this year.
These privileges include training at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, as well as other sports science and medicine-related privileges that “high-performance athletes” have access to.
Additionally, Teong will also have his Sports Excellence Scholarship benefits taken away for him for a month.
The benefits, which are granted to athletes who have “the potential to excel on the Asian and world stage”, include monthly stipends, education support and other forms of support.
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