Chinese Olympic Gold Medalist Sued Over Gambling Debt

Kong Linghui, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is being sued by the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) over a S$454,375 (US$328,234) gambling debt. The Chinese table tennis legend, who now coaches the women’s national team, borrowed S$1 million (US$727k) from MBS in February 2015. After losing the entire amount, he repaid S$545.6K before stopping payments. According […]

kong-linghui-table-tennisKong Linghui, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is being sued by the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) over a S$454,375 (US$328,234) gambling debt.

The Chinese table tennis legend, who now coaches the women’s national team, borrowed S$1 million (US$727k) from MBS in February 2015. After losing the entire amount, he repaid S$545.6K before stopping payments.

According to the Straights Times, Linghui is already dealing with fallout from his non-payment. China has suspended him as national coach until this dilemma is worked out.

Unlike most other countries, China heavily frowns on gambling and has no legal casinos on their mainland. This is why most Chinese residents visit Macau – just off the country’s mainland – or offshore casino destinations like Singapore and Australia.

That said, Linghui will face social pressures for both high stakes gambling and failing to repay his losses. It’s also unclear how long his suspension will last, or if he’ll ever be reinstated.

marina-bay-sands-casinoFollowing the news, Linghui denied knowing about the outstanding debt. He claims to have only known after receiving a writ.

Another peculiar thing about this case is that Linghui says he didn’t gamble anything. Instead, he says that he took friends and family to MBS, then offered his personal details so that they could secure chips. Linghui supposedly only watched the group play casino games, never taking part in the action himself.

“Someone apparently became embroiled in a financial dispute at that time, and now I am embroiled in a lawsuit,” he said. “I immediately asked the person to clarify the matter and I reserve the right to protect myself through legal means.”

With two gold medals and a long history of success, Linghui is one of the greatest Chinese table tennis players ever. He also won a silver Olympic medal during his career and earned the nickname “Ping Pong Prince.” Unfortunately, he’s not being treated like much of a prince now.

 

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