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SNOC reviewing S$35,000 prize money given to swimmer Teong Tzen Wei for Commonwealth, SEA Games medals

SINGAPORE — Prize money of S$35,000 awarded to national swimmer Teong Tzen Wei by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) for medals including his Commonwealth Games silver is under review by SNOC after he admitted using drugs while abroad, following similar admissions by teammates Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim.

National swimmer Teong Tzen Wei competing in the Commonwealth Games men's 50m butterfly final in Birmingham, Britain on July 30, 2022.

National swimmer Teong Tzen Wei competing in the Commonwealth Games men's 50m butterfly final in Birmingham, Britain on July 30, 2022.

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  • National swimmer Teong Tzen Wei will have the S$35,000 prize money he received for his Commonwealth Games silver medal and SEA Games gold medals put under review
  • Teong admitted using controlled drugs while abroad, with similar admissions by teammates Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim
  • The ceremony for the Major Games Award Programme under which Teong received the prize was held on Sept 14
  • This was more than two weeks after it was made known that Schooling and Lim had confessed to consuming drugs

SINGAPORE — Prize money of S$35,000 awarded to national swimmer Teong Tzen Wei by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) for medals including his Commonwealth Games silver is under review by SNOC after he admitted using drugs while abroad, following similar admissions by teammates Joseph Schooling and Amanda Lim.

Teong, 24, is also under investigation by a disciplinary committee set up by SNOC in late August, initially to look at Schooling and Lim after they confessed to having consumed cannabis overseas. 

The Straits Times reported that Teong received S$35,000 under the Major Games Award Programme (MAP) after bagging a silver for the men's 50m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in July and August this year as well as two gold medals at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The SNOC disburses cash rewards under the MAP for the Olympic, Asian, Commonwealth and SEA Games. 

The MAP ceremony was held on Sept 14, more than two weeks after it was made known that Schooling and Lim had confessed to consuming drugs. 

Schooling and Lim did not receive their prize money for their SEA Games gold medals at the ceremony, and SNOC said at the time that a decision on the matter had not been finalised.

Schooling had won two golds and a bronze medal and would have received S$13,750, while Lim bagged a gold and silver medal and would have received S$3,750. 

SNOC had said in late August that it had convened a disciplinary hearing into the two swimmers' drug consumption cases.

In response to TODAY's queries, SNOC said on Wednesday that the disciplinary proceedings, which will now also include Teong, are ongoing.

"The disciplinary committee will meet with the involved athletes soon and is projected to complete its findings in the next week," SNOC added.

"A decision with regard to the prize money will be determined after the disciplinary proceedings are completed." 

SNOC confirmed that the prize money that is under review also includes Teong's haul.

TODAY also asked SNOC if Teong had been included in the investigation at an earlier date prior to Wednesday's revelation of his drug consumption admission, but the committee did not respond to the question. 

National sport governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) had concluded its internal review on its athletes on Wednesday and found that Teong had also admitted to consuming controlled drugs overseas, in addition to Schooling and Lim. 

SportSG said in a statement on Wednesday that the Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore (CNB) had investigated Teong, Schooling and Lim for drug-related offences.

However, in an earlier statement when news of Schooling and Lim's drug use confessions first broke in August, SportSG had not named Teong. 

In response to queries from TODAY, a SportSG spokesman said that the reason for this was that the initial statement in August was based on investigations by CNB, where only Lim and Schooling were named. 

However, SportSG declined to comment on exactly when it knew of Teong's confessions to drug use, and eventual investigations by CNB. 

CNB also did not respond to TODAY's queries seeking more information on Teong's involvement in drug use, and any possible involvement with Schooling and Lim. 

TODAY understands that CNB typically does not publicly release information on alleged drug abusers. 

WHO IS TEONG TZEN WEI? 

Teong had hit the headlines when he won Singapore's first medal at the Commonwealth Games this year, a silver in the 50m butterfly with a time of 23.21s.  

In May this year at the SEA Games, Teong set an even faster time for this event with a Games record of 23.04s.

During that SEA Games, Teong also became the first Southeast Asian to dip under 22 seconds for the 50m freestyle, with a Games record of 21.93s. 

Along with his Commonwealth silver medal, Teong has also won four SEA Games gold medals in the 50m freestyle and butterfly events over the last three editions of the Games. 

Teong is also a Sport Excellence Scholar (spexScholar) under SportSG, and under the programme, receives a monthly stipend to sustain full-time training, financial support to cover the costs of coaching, training, competition and equipment, and support in education, career and personal development. 

SportSG said on Wednesday that Teong's spexScholarship benefits will be suspended for one month following his misconduct. 

Related topics

drugs Joseph Schooling Amanda Lim Teong Tzen Wei

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