Joseph Schooling, winner of the first Olympic gold medal for Singapore has been banned from competing after admitting that he took cannabis when he was visiting Vietnam in May.
The swimmer became a national hero after winning the country’s first ever gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Singapore, a nation known for their very strict drug laws is now divided on the swimmer.
While some see it as much ado about nothing as many people consume the drug others are castigating the swimmer due to his role model status.
Within Singapore drugs are banned and it is also possible for the nation to prosecute citizens who take drugs abroad. Urine tests can be administered to citizens on re-entering the country and those who fail can face a 10 year prison sentence as well as a £12,300 fine.
Drug traffickers face similar harsh sentences. Singapore has a mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking, a sentence that has started to become unpopular with the youth of the nation.
Schooling was not the only Singaporean swimmer that has been caught. Another national swimmer, Amanda Lim has also admitted to the crime.
While Schooling did pass the urine drug test he confessed to consuming cannabis in Vietnam. Cannabis remains illegal in Vietnam as it does Singapore.
Schooling is now unable to take leave of his military service and will face supervised urine tests for six months. If caught again he could face 9 months military detention.
All male citizens of Singapore and permanent residents have to complete 2 years of military service when they are 18 years old although there are certain exemptions for sporting stars.