Corruption in Sport

by James Brown

TINZ delegated authority for Sport

At its best, sport is about the honorable pursuit of victory. It is not just about playing by the rules; it is also about playing within the spirit of the rules. It requires sportsmanship, fair play, playing clean, and respect. Ethics violations and the desire to win at any cost threaten the inherent value of sport around the globe.

So the question for me is why, why do athletes choose to cheat?

The answer is simple, people are inherently greedy and a large portion of the population still see success as the size of a mans wallet (quote from Wall Street).

With so much money in prize winning and sponsorship more and more athletes are faced with ethical challenges everyday. Young kids are now taking steroids in the gym way before they even try to qualify for the rugby team.

In cycling it was always the drugs now it is motorised bikes. (See Cycling Has Moved From Actual Doping to 'Mechanical Doping' ) In the latest reports of ongoing corruption in pro cycling, the international governing body Union Cycliste Internationale confirmed that a 19-year-old rider Femke Van den Driessche cheated in the World Championships using a small motor to power the rear wheel.

The report by Michael Nunez is somewhat shocking given the nature of cheating scandals in major American sports: historically some of the most well-known cheating scandals have been socially engineered like paying referees or using performance-enhancing drugs. The reason that the UCI revelation was so big was that it marks the first time a cheater in a sport competition has been caught using motorized technology to receive an unfair advantage.

Even the IOC has not been without question, in the last 25 years, rumors of questionable practices by members of the IOC have surfaced, particularly related to the bidding process for hosting the Olympic Games. These rumors were largely ignored until late 1998, when a respected IOC member from Switzerland, Marc Hodler, publicly discussed IOC members╩╝ involvement in bribery and vote “selling” and “buying” as long-standing practices involving individuals from cities bidding to host the Games.

So how do we prevent “corruption in sport”? For me it is simple, the penalty should exceed the crime. If you are worth millions based on your results and subsequent endorsements a 3 month ban or $100,000 fine is no deterent. A ban for life and all prize money and a proportion of endoresements related to the wins should be paid into a central fund to help support youth development and the continuation of the abolishment of corruption in sport.

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