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shame! shame?
Wednesday, February 4 | 11:01 AM

The local paper, TODAY, had a field day reporting on some athletes' misadventures on 2/2. Here's the first one :

Local athletes, sports officials split on TAS ban for triathletes

Former Singapore sprint star U K Shyam won a silver in the men’s 100m at the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. 

Now retired, the 32-year-old feels the punishment meted out by the Triathlon Association of Singapore (TAS) on triathletes Mok Ying Ren, 20, and Dinah Chan, 22, was too harsh.

The two triathletes were slapped with a ban from competition for a unspecified time after being caught alone together in a hotel room at the Asian Beach Games in Bali last October.

The TAS’ code of conduct required hotel room doors to be kept open a visitor of the opposite sex was present.  Room sharing between male and female athletes is not allowed.

Shyam, who has been to four SEA Games and is the national 100m recordholder, said yesterday: “I think it was definitely too harsh. As long as they were not doing anything inappropriate, I think a verbal warning would have sufficed.

“We don’t have that many athletes to begin with, why stop the from competing? They’re not professionals, and are already sacrificing so much to compete.”  An ex-national swimmer, who has competed at the Olympics and is a multi-gold medallist at the SEA Games, revealed that such incidents do occur at multi-event Games, but the parties involved were never caught.

“I don’t think we can turn a blind eye to such things, but we need to be more understanding, especially if the competition is over,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But for this to happen before the competition ends is a definite no-no. If the TAS sees fit to ban them, they need to specify the duration and what the ban is for.

“It’s only fair to be specific.”

While athletes call for understanding, sports officials and administrators insist rules have to be followed.

Former world champion Sheik Alau’ddin has represented the country many times and is now chief executive director of the Singapore Silat Federation.  The federation does not allow male athletes to visit female athletes in their rooms and vice versa.

Addressing the case of the two triathletes, Sheik said: “If they were in the room and the door was closed, then it’s serious.  They’re not on holiday, they’re there to represent the country. “If they want to chat they can do it in the common area, not in the room.”

The Singapore Sports School have sent teams to Thailand over the last five years for the Thailand Sports School Games.

The school’s director of sports, Dr Irwin Seet, says there is no compromise as far as the rules go.

“We take a very strict view on this because we’re dealing with minors, and the athletes are briefed on the rules prior to leaving,” he said. “The school places boys on one floor and girls on another.

They are not allowed on each other’s floors, with members of the staff present on each floor as chaperones.”

As for Mok and Chan, Dr Seet said: “Before embarking on a trip to represent the country, if they have been clearly briefed on the code of conduct and don’t adhere to it, they will inevitably have to face the repercussions.”

Another national athlete, who declined to be named, felt age had to be a consideration.  Said the athlete: “If they are 14 or 15-year-olds, then we need to be concerned, but they’re adults.”

Embedded in the above article is a picture of both Chan and Mok.  Yes, their actions have led to conseqences in the form of the ban (to what extent only time will time) which, in my opinion, suffices as a punishment.  BUT why print their pictures?  To shame them?  While I understand that that may serve as a deterrent to the public and athletes in particular, WHY PUBLISH THEIR IDENTITIES FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE?  It's not as if they are crooks or terrorists we should be wary of?!!   

Phelps admits ‘bad behaviour’ after he is shown smoking cannabis

TAMPA (Florida) — Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps admitted yesterday that he had engaged in “regrettable” behaviour and “demonstrated bad judgment” after a photograph was published that appeared to show him smoking cannabis.

A British newspaper, the News of the World, published the photo allegedly showing the multiple Olympic gold medal-winner inhaling from a glass pipe which is generally used to smoke the drug.
“I engaged in behaviour which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,”
Phelps said in a statement.

“I’m 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me.  For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”

The newspaper said the picture was taken on Nov 6, almost three months after Phelps won an historic eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, when he went to a party at the University of South Carolina.

The paper claimed he was visiting Ms Jordan Matthews, a girl he was secretly dating who was a student at the university, and threw himself into a series of parties in houses and bars.

The photograph shows Phelps, wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap back to front, holding the pipe — known as a bong — to his lips and apparently inhaling.

The tabloid quoted a party-goer as saying: “You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do. He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits.”
He added: “Michael ended up getting a little paranoid, though, because before too long he looked like he was nervous and ran out of the place.”

Phelps was recently named the US Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year for making Olympic history in Beijing by collecting the most golds won by any athlete at a single Olympics, giving him a career total of 14 golds. He also set seven world records in Beijing.

The greatest swimmer of all times made the smart move to apologise to the public for his misdeamer before the situation gets any worse.  So they say, the higher you are, the further you fall.  All it takes is a little discretion like smoking cannabis at a friend's party.  Then again, unlike the 2 triathletes above, he has earned enough from his gold tallies and endorsement deals to see him through a few generations over.  

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