Petition set up to get SNOC to reconsider omitting Soh Rui Yong for SEA Games

Soh Rui Yong after winning the 2015 men's marathon race. (FILE PHOTO: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee/Action Images via Reuters)

SINGAPORE — A petition has been set up to get the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to reconsider their decision not to select two-time men’s marathon defending champion Soh Rui Yong for the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines.

The petition was set up on Friday morning (2 August) on Change.org website by user KM Chia.

The user wrote, “Soh Rui Yong (is) our best national long distance running athlete. He is the top regional Southeast Asian long distance runner. However, this year he had a dispute with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on the integrity of another athlete.

“SNOC had unjustly left out Soh disregarding his excellent results this year. Let's get Soh Rui Yong reinstated for the SEA Games representing Singapore.”

As of 12.45pm on Friday, the petition has garnered 175 signatures. It is aiming for 200 signatures.

Omitted from list of 585 Games-bound athletes

Soh, 27, was omitted from the list of 585 Singapore athletes approved by SNOC to represent the Republic at the SEA Games, which will be held over three cities in the Philippines from 30 November to 11 December.

The SNOC said in a media release on Thursday, “Since the 2017 SEA Games, there have been numerous instances where Soh has displayed conduct that falls short of the standards of attitude and behaviour that the SNOC expects of and holds its athletes to, considering that they are held up and seen as representatives of the country and as examples to our sporting youth.

“As such, the SNOC has decided to reject SA’s nomination for his national representation at the 2019 SEA Games.”

Soh – who won the men’s marathon gold at both the 2015 and 2017 Games – has been at loggerheads with SNOC on more than one occasion.

Ahead of his winning run at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Games, Soh was given a formal warning by the SNOC over a breach of regulations regarding the promotion of personal sponsors on social media during the Games.

In April this year, the SNOC served Soh a legal letter demanding that he retract allegations against fellow marathoner Ashley Liew over an act of sportsmanship at the 2015 SEA Games. For the act, the organisation nominated Liew for the Pierre de Coubertin accolade, an international sportsmanship award.

It later said it reserved its rights against Soh, who had continued to criticise the council on social media for backing Liew.

Related story:

Marathoner Soh Rui Yong in shock omission as SNOC selects 585 athletes for SEA Games