Athletics: Board of inquiry formed to investigate leaked WhatsApp conversation between SA officials

Press conference by Dr Govindasamy Balasekaran's (speaking) team at Sports SG on April 3, 2017.
Press conference by Dr Govindasamy Balasekaran's (speaking) team at Sports SG on April 3, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - A Board of Inquiry (BOI) has been convened to investigate a WhatsApp conversation involving top Singapore Athletics (SA) officials.

Leaked photos of the conversation in question had showed SA vice-president (training and selection) Govindasamy Balasekaran apparently instructing SA staff to collect evidence, such that disciplinary action would have to be taken against local coaches Margaret Oh (sprint) and David Yeo (pole vault).

The three-member BOI was announced by SA president Ho Mun Cheong on Wednesday (July 5).

It will be headed by Terry Tan, SA's chairman of tug of war. The other two members are Leong Lee San and Joe Yap, the chairpersons of race walking and officials respectively.

The BOI will investigate the involvement of Balasekaran, technical director Volker Herrmann, general manager Jaime Cheong, high performance manager Ong Wan Xin and senior executive Shalindran Sathiyanesan in the WhatsApp conversation, and whether the five are guilty of any breach of conduct.

The BOI will then present its findings in writing to the SA's management committee, after which the matter may be referred to a disciplinary committee for action.

Sprinter Shanti Pereira, the defending women's 200m SEA Games champion, and 2015 SEA Games silver medallist pole vaulter Rachel Yang, are trained by Oh and Yeo respectively.

Both women will be part of Singapore's contingent competing at next month's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. The Republic won three gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the 2015 edition on home soil.