Probe looms for swimming trio

Probe looms for swimming trio
(From left) Joseph Schooling, Teo Zhen Ren and Roanne Ho are believed to have returned to the athletes’ village in Incheon drunk early on Saturday morning, after the swimming events ended.

Singapore's triple Asian Games medallist Joseph Schooling could face disciplinary action after he was reportedly one of three swimmers who allegedly returned to the athletes' village intoxicated early on Saturday morning.

It is believed that Schooling, 19, and team-mates Teo Zhen Ren, 20, and Roanne Ho, 21, returned to Team Singapore's housing area in the early hours of Saturday night inebriated. It is understood that they then bumped into a group of Team Singapore athletes and officials who were about to leave the village for a flight home.

While the trio did not break any laws - the legal drinking age in South Korea is 19 - they may still have fallen foul of the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) code of conduct guidelines for athletes representing the nation.

The SNOC released a statement on Monday, saying that investigations will be conducted after the Asiad ends on Oct 4.

Team Singapore chef de mission Jessie Phua said then: "We will investigate further after the Games. We have reminded all remaining athletes and officials to be responsible for their actions and to keep the team managers updated of their movements. In the meantime, Team Singapore have five more days of competition to go at the Asian Games. We are focused on giving our best to support the athletes who are still competing, and wish them the very best for the competition."

When asked about the alleged wrongdoing, Colin Schooling, Joseph's father, would only say: "I know and believe that the SNOC will be thorough with their investigations, and the truth will prevail."

The incident was made known to the media by an e-mail sent to various media agencies.

The Straits Times understands that there is no specific guideline in the team managers' handbook or athletes' agreement form - signed by athletes before the Asiad - that prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

However, athletes are reminded to conduct themselves appropriately as they are representing the country at a continental meet.

It is believed that there is a curfew of 11pm to 6am imposed on athletes, which the trio could have violated, although each team manager reserves the right to alter the curfew.

The swimming competition ended last Friday night, a day before the swimmers' alleged indiscretions. Schooling left for the United States, where he is training and studying, on Saturday.

The butterfly specialist had made headlines for all the right reasons so far this year.

He was taking part in his first Asian Games, where he clinched Singapore's first men's swimming gold in 32 years. He also bagged a silver and a bronze at the Asiad.

At the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July, he created history when he bagged Singapore's first-ever swimming medal at the quadrennial meet.

This article was first published on Oct 1, 2014.
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