Singapore—The fight between multi-awarded marathoner Soh Rui Yong and Singapore Athletics (SA) still wages on, with the marathoner declining SA’s offer of mediation in the lasses round of legal letters exchanged between them.
The ongoing battle started earlier this month, when the two-time SEA Games marathon winner was excluded from the lineup of athletes slated to join this year’s games in Manila, the Philippines, later this year, due to the marathoner having “displayed conduct that falls short of the standards of attitude and behaviour that the SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council) expects of and holds its athletes to.”
Mr Soh took exception to his exclusion, as well as the failure of SA to defend him or contest the SNOC’s decision. Later on, the runner took the battle to social media, and then found himself blocked from SA’s WhatsApp chats and social media pages.
Afterward Mr Soh wrote two legal letters to the SNOC concerning the matter, as published on his blog, https://www.runsohfast.com.
The first letter was dated August 7, which he and his legal representatives, Foxwood LLC, wrote asking the SNOC to explain why he had been excluded from this year’s SEA Games lineup despite his excellent performance in past marathons.
Through its lawyers Rajah and Tann, the SNOC responded to Mr Soh the following day, asking for two provisions. One, that they would be given “by the end of next week” to respond to Mr Soh’s letter, despite the 5:00 pm on August 13 deadline Mr Soh had asked for. Two, for matters to be kept private between them. Mr Soh wrote that the PNOC had asked “That future correspondence between SNOC and me on this matter were not to be publicly shared or disseminated by either party.
The marathoner said on August 10 that he had declined both requests.
In this latest round between Mr Soh and SA, the marathoner said that he had received a reply from SA, saying that the organization had offered a “without prejudice” meeting to mediate.
This offer was rejected by Mr Soh and his lawyers as well.
He wrote, “My lawyers and I have rejected SA’s request to meet, reason being that they have failed to give basis to their defamatory allegations or clarify their position in this matter, seemingly shying away from providing basis and trying to settle this behind closed doors after making defamatory allegations.”
In the letter, Mr Soh also invited the Executive Director of the SA, Malik Aljunied, “to respond and substantiate what he says in relation to his allegations. Alternatively, I would kindly request that you retract your statements and make a written apology if you have made them without proper basis.”
More controversially, the marathoner also asked Singapore Athletics to confirm where or not Mr Malik receives his salary from the SNOC, and whether this affects his decision-making process.
“Separately, I would also like to know if Malik Aljunied is paid by Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), and whether this has affected his decision-making process as SA Executive Director in any way: https://www.straitstimes.com/…/singapore-athletics-to-appoi…
Once these facts are set out, we can then work towards a purposeful and fruitful meeting, and work towards a closure on this saga.”
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