From: Laremy Lee
Date: February 2, 2009 12:04:04 AM GMT+08:00
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Please revisit decision to ban athletes.
I am writing in to you to express my disappointment at the Triathlon Association of Singapore’s (TAS’s) decision to bar Dinah Chan and Mok Ying Ren from competition. While I acknowledge that their being caught in close proximity goes against the code of conduct laid out by the TAS, I believe the Association should revisit its decision, along with its code of conduct governing relations between athletes.
First, the TAS should be clear about what the exact purpose of this particular code was for. The best guess that I can hazard is that it was put in place to prevent female and male athletes from engaging in relations that might prove to be a conflict of interest to the TAS e.g. an unwanted pregnancy, the transmission of STIs, etc. As it has been stated that the two athletes were not in a compromising position, their safety was obviously not compromised either. Acting according to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law merely shows up the TAS to be an Association concerned with enacting punitive measures as opposed to enacting rehabilitative measures – the latter being a more effective means to correcting perceived waywardness, in my humble opinion.
With regard to the code of conduct, I think it should be scrapped. Societal mores have shifted significantly since the 19th century – which I assume was when the code of conduct has been written – and the majority of Singaporeans do not frown upon couples being in close proximity to one another, unless they must be segregated for religious reasons. The last time I checked, the TAS was a National Sports Association, and not a religious organisation. Nevertheless, if the code of conduct was put in place for the reasons I gathered above, then perhaps I should reiterate that it has been proven that education is a more effective tool against these perceived threats than abstinence is. A simple Google search can corroborate my statement.
Enforcing the ban is a selfish decision, because it deprives two athletes with vast stores of talent from maximising their potential. I urge the TAS to more progressive in its mindset, and to act quickly to both reverse its decision to ban the two athletes, and to scrap this particular code before it is too late. Merely standing by a decision or a code because it is the way things have always been done does not show that one has guts and gumption – it results in quite the opposite, truthfully.
Laremy LEE (Mr)