KUALA LUMPUR • Marathoner Soh Rui Yong remains unapologetic over a disagreement with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) over the promotion of his personal sponsors.
The 26-year-old, who retained his marathon crown yesterday, was at odds with the SNOC for using social media to promote his personal sponsors - who are competitors of Team Singapore's backers - during the official blackout period from Aug 5 to Sept 5.
He was given a formal warning on Monday by Singapore's Major Games Preparation Committee and was told to remove the posts, which he complied with.
Yesterday after his win, however, he said: "It's weird that the more people disturb me, the faster I run. Pressure makes diamonds.
"I'd love to make a difference, I'm fighting for all athletes.
"It's just something I believe in and I believe in speaking up for certain issues like that.
"I've been told (my) approach is not the most diplomatic, but I think before the Games was the best time to generate some traction, really get some attention for this issue because after the Games no one cares.
"It added a good excitement around my race."
He continued to express his wish for allowing athletes to have "an increased say" in sponsorship rules.
He added: "I do understand their reasons for having this sponsorship rule.
"But, at the same time, I do think athletes need an increased say in some of these rules, because they affect us directly.
"It's just difficult to give your sponsors enough bang for their buck when it's a whole month that you can't mention them."
As for his critics, Soh had this to say: "I'm not too concerned. The higher you get, the more people hate on you.
"Some people were saying, 'This guy should shut up and run'. I guess I did today."