Marathoner Soh Rui Yong has rejected mediation with Singapore Athletics (SA) for the moment, on the condition that he would be amicable to the meeting only after SA Executive Director Malik Aljunied substantiates his claims made against the athlete.
On one Facebook post in which he laid out the timeline of recent legal letters sent back and forth between solicitors on both sides, Mr Soh wrote:
My lawyers and I have rejected SA’s request to meet, reason being that they have failed to give basis to their defamatory allegations or clarify their position in this matter, seemingly shying away from providing basis and trying to settle this behind closed doors after making defamatory allegations.
About five hours later, Mr Soh published another post on Facebook, this time sharing a Straits Time article titled “Athletics: Soh Rui Yong Rejects Singapore Athletic’s offer of Mediation” and his own comments where he again clarified:
If you accuse someone of something publicly, you either substantiate it with basis or apologise if you have no basis. You don’t publicly assassinate someone’s character then ask him to hide behind closed doors and settle quietly after the damage is done. Mediation will come only after Malik Aljunied and Singapore Athletics explain themselves.
May accountability and transparency prevail.
What’s happened so far?
On 7 August, Mr Soh commenced a ‘legal battle’ with the SA and SNOC, serving the letters to Singapore Athletics Executive Director, Malik Aljunied and Secretary-General of the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), Chris Chan asking for them to provide details of the so-called transgressions they claimed he has made which led to their decision to exclude him from this years SEA Games in Manila.
The SA replied to Mr Soh’s legal letter on 13th August. However, Mr Soh said the reply did not provide the explanations and details he had requested, instead the sporting body only offered a “without prejudice meeting” to mediate.
Following that, Mr Soh rejected the SA’s request to on the reason that “they have failed to give basis to their defamatory allegations or clarify their position in this matter, seemingly shying away from providing basis and trying to settle this behind closed doors after making defamatory allegations”.
A second legal letter was sent from Mr Soh’s solicitors to the SA on 14th August to ask again for clarification on the allegations made.
The letter also said, “Until such time when our client is able to review your client’s substantive response then will our client be able to consider if a meeting between parties, if set up, will be purposeful and fruitful”.
On his Facebook, Mr Soh invited SA’s executive director Mr Aljunied to respond and substantiate the claims he made or alternatively, to retract his statements and make a written apology if those claims were made without basis.
He also questioned if Mr Aljunied is paid by the SNOC and whether that might have affected the decision making process of the SA in any way. Mr Soh then shared an ST article which reported on the Mr Aljunied’s appointment to SA by the SNOC back in June 2019.
Mr Soh, who also shared all these legal letters on his website RunSohFast, concluded by saying, “Once these facts are set out, we can then work towards a purposeful and fruitful meeting, and work towards a closure on this saga.”