Scandals of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games

Scandals of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games

The scandals of the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, are as follows.


*As with previous games, the Filipino hosts introduced non-Olympic events or sports normally not contested in previous games into the programme which are often advantageous to the home country, including Arnis, Baseball, Dancesport, Lawn Bowls and Softball. As expected, the hosts took the gold and silver medals for both categories in Dancesport. The other sports are still being contested.
*Midway through the game, three Vietnamese Pencak Silat competitors, Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, Nguyen Van Hung and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thuy had their schedules changed at the last minute and without due notification to the athletes involved. Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, for instance, discovered the change only by chance, and would have forfeited the game if she did not turn up during the rescheduled time. All three of them later won gold medals.
**A day later, another Vietnamese Pencak Silat athlete was disadvantaged by the same 'sudden re-scheduling'. Le Anh Tuan was in his lunch break to prepare for his match in the afternoon when he heard his name called to turn up for the match against a Filipino athlete. Le Anh Tuan had to fight taking the risk of injury as a result of not doing enough warming-up. He later won the match.
*At the opening ceremonies in Cebu City, organizers were impressed over the sell-out crowd of 20,000 spectators. However, city officials were furious over how this was achieved: they found out that the planning committee for the Cebu opening ceremonies heavily slashed ticket prices from 100 pesos to 20 pesos. Even at P20 per ticket, discounts were given further. Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said that he was disappointed that the sell-out crowd was achieved by selling tickets with "dirt cheapness". At the same time, the mayor was furious over the organizers' overspending for the event.
**In relation to these developments, Cebu City Sports Commission chairman Jonathan Guardo was fired by mayor Osmeña. Ironically, Guardo was about to resign from his post just as he learned that he was being sacked. Immediately after the games closed, it was revealed that the city's sports body has over seven million pesos worth of unpaid debts with hotels, caterers and other private groups that took part in Cebu's hosting of the SEA Games. Cheque payments issued by the CCSC bounced.
***On January 7, 2006, Jonathan Guardo, the former CCSC and Cebu SOC chairman, announced that he was running for congress in the upcoming 2007 general elections representing the southern district of Cebu. Guardo stated that politics was the reason why Mayor Osmena fired and lashed him publicly. The mayor on the other hand continues to demand Guardo to be transparent with the full accounting of Cebu's SEA Games hosting which has not been completed until now.

Venues and facilities

*In Table Tennis, the Singaporean delegation, although widely expected to retain their titles, voiced objections over the change of tables used without informing the athletes prior to the competitions, a move that violates international rules.
*In Marathon, both male and female athletes were scheduled to run on the same route, the women departed 10 minutes before the men did, which was against the rules. It is provided by the rules that if male and female runners are to be arranged in the same route, the females must depart at least 30 minutes before the males do.
**Because of this arrangement, this later broke out protest by the Vietnamese team. The judges argued that the Vietnamese male runner, Nguyen Van Khoa, was 'illegally pacing' his female teammate, Nguyen Thi Hoa, from the 28th kilometer to the finish line 'to assist her to win the medal'. Nguyen Van Khoa was therefore disqualified and Nguyen Thi Hoa was stripped off her silver medal.
**The Vietnamese team, however, defended that because male runners departure was just only 10 minutes after the females, they must catch up the females somewhere mid-way; and no regulations provide that the male runner must run faster than the female. The marshals' decision however remained unchanged.

Officiating decisions

*Thailand, through Jaruk Areerajakaran, the secretary-general of Thailand's Olympic Committee, claims that the Philippines is cheating throughout the course of the Games by rigging the results of the events, it being more concerned in winning gold medals rather than the spirit of the games. The scandal even prompted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to consider bringing up the issue at the upcoming ASEAN summit in Malaysia and/or to hold a summit on fair play during the SEA Games. The Philippines has denied rigging the results of the sports mentioned by Thaksin, which include Aquatics, Athletics and Fencing. One protest filed by the Thai delegation was taken into action immediately after watching the video-finish of the 10,000 meter run. The Filipino winner returned the gold medal in exchange of the silver medal of the Thai runner.
**In a development of this scandal, Chaiyapak Siriwat, the vice-president of the Thailand Olympic Council, apologized to the Philippines for the report, claiming that it is "inappropriate and baseless". Confirmation is still pending over the comments of the Thai prime minister over his disappointment over the results of the SEA Games. In fact, he (Siriwat) has yet to receive any complaint from the Thai delegation about any judging irregularities.
**Despite the organizer's denial of rigging the results, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered an investigation into the controversy raised by Thaksin's remarks about officiating during the Games.
**The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement apparently aimed at defusing the controversy, they said that Thaksin did not directly accuse the Philippines of favoring its athletes to win and blamed the media for taking the Prime Minister's remarks "out of context." [ (Statement)] Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister, Suwat Liptapanlop, arrived December 3 to personally witness the events in the games. After watching a tennis game finals between Thailand and the Philippines (lower seeded Philippines won), Suwat stressed that the Philippines and Thailand "have very good relations" and the controversy won' t destroy diplomatic relations between Philippines and Thailand. He also acknowledge the efforts made by Philippines of hosting the games.
**The allegations are no longer an issue for the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur as the other nine ASEAN countries and East Timor congratulated the Philippines for its overall win.
*Two Thai aquatics officials have been sanctioned by FINA (International Aquatics Federation) for biased judging. One Thai diving judge was disciplined by the FINA neutral referee from New Zealand for “obviously favoring his own diver”. Another Thai referee, in water polo, was banned from the deck because of “intentional bad calls and unfair player exclusions.” The referee had the Vietnamese team lose points thus he was never allowed to be on the deck again according to a FINA neutral delegate from Iran.
*An emotional Filipino crowd threw coins into the boxing ring during the men's middleweight finals in Bacolod City, forcing the referee to stop the fight in favor of Thai boxer Suriya Prasatinphimai who was leading in the first round. It was not clear what started the commotion, but ring announcers said the home crowd were angry that the judges were not scoring some of the punches being made by Filipino boxer Reynaldo Galido. The allegations nearly sparked riots.
*According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, during Track and Field, the Philippine delegation's top distance runner, in a last-ditch attempt to win the gold, blocked the lane of his fast-approaching Thai counterpart. Because of this, he was promptly disqualified.

Drugs and Doping

*After the Philippines lost to Myanmar in the women's Sepak Takraw finals, a team manager immediately filed a protest and requested a gender test of three Myanmar players. The three were subjected to the mandatory doping test.
**The Philippine team withdrew the protest December 4 as a sign of friendship and sportsmanship. The decision came to defuse any controversy and to show its goodwill as hosts.

Other scandals

*Two Vietnamese Football players, striker Pham Van Quyen and midfielder Le Quoc Vuong, both from the national Under 23 team, were arrested in Hanoi for "indulging in betting on games and organizing betting" (match fixing). The scandal apparently took place in a match with Vietnam placed against Myanmar, with Vietnam winning 1-0. However, the results are disputed after allegations rose on state television result that some Vietnamese players appeared to slow down their play. It's also been alleged that Pham Van Quyen received 23 million đồng from two women in Ho Chi Minh City on the way to Hanoi from Manila for the match fix. Police are also investigating an alleged match fix at a match between Vietnam and Malaysia in which Vietnam won 2-1.
**Meanwhile, the Philippine government praised Vietnamese officials for the crackdown on football corruption and the arrest of the two football players. Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Robert Aventajado said that the arrests were made to protect the sport and that Vietnam is working to stem further damage that the scandal has caused to it.
**Two more players, midfielder Huynh Quoc Anh and defender Le Bat Hieu, were arrested on the same charges over the same scandal. It is believed that these players also received twenty million đồng from local bookmakers to make sure that Vietnam does not win by more than one goal. The same accusation is also believed to be applied to the 23 million-đồng payout to Pham Van Quyen.


External links

* [ SPORTS CZAR TO BE SACKED: Osmeña declines Guardo resignation] - Philippine Daily Inquirer
* [ AFTER GAMES, UTANG: P7M owed to Cebu suppliers for hosting foreign athletes] - Philippine Daily Inquirer
* [ Cebu City Mayors assails SEAG Overspending] - Sun Star
* [ Thai official claims RP is cheating] - Philippine Daily Inquirer
* [ Medal-fixing allegations tarnish South East Asian Games] - Channel NewsAsia

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