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Ethical Principles In Competitive Sports

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Sports is primarily a competitive activity where winning is the be all and end all. Perhaps that is why, in this highly competitive sports environment, we quite often hear about unethical behaviour which includes cheating, bending the rules, doping, abuse of food additives, physical and verbal violence, harassment, sexual abuse and trafficking of young sportspersons, discrimination, exploitation, unequal opportunities, unethical sports practices, unfair means, excessive commercialisation, use of drugs in sports and corruption.

Nowadays sports is all about winning, it does not matter how you win it. Players and coaches are encouraged to bend the rules wherever possible to gain a competitive advantage over an opponent rather than following the rules set by the authorities. For example, the payers engage in unethical activities such as faking a foul, attempting to get a head start in a race, use of performance-enhancement drugs, etc.

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Betting in sports has promoted interest in sports and at the same time influenced sports negatively. Values such as honesty, fairness, justice, and patriotism are quickly fading out as corruption, falsehood, malice, selfishness, and unfairness gain grip on many sporting activities. Match-fixing and other manipulative actions are well-documented. Bearing in mind all these unethical activities, betting in sports should be regulated according to the ethical standards to reduce sports-related crime.

The concept of a perfect world where race, color, religion, political stance, and gender are all equal is a good goal to strive for. Singling out individuals or groups based on any of those characteristics is wrong. Sports would be a perfect place to let down the barriers. But that is not the case, there is bias in sport today. There is racism and discrimination in every sport towards either fans or players. It is important to note that racism isn’t only in sports it is in every part of life. Sport is just a medium through which people share their racist ideology. To combat increasing racism you have to educate people to first understand what racism is and its consequences. Because most of the people don’t intend to make racist statements but unintentionally do it. For people doing it intentionally strict punishment or a lifetime ban should be implemented.

In competitive sports, doping is the use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors. The doping phenomenon in sports is increasing and diversifying, as are the drugs used for doping. There is a race among those who invent new doping methods and sports ethics organizations that are searching for more performant methods to detect them. Unfortunately, most of the time, those in the first category are always one step ahead. Improving scientific procedures used to detect prohibited substances is, of course, a necessity and also a challenge. Resolute action is required to restore fair-play throughout the sports industry and last but not least, the ethics and fair-play education of young athletes.

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Ethical Principles In Competitive Sports. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from
“Ethical Principles In Competitive Sports.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Ethical Principles In Competitive Sports. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Jan. 2023].
Ethical Principles In Competitive Sports [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jan 26]. Available from:
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