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DEFINING SPORTS INTEGRITY
hockey leagues fighting is severely sanctioned. Likewise, the concept of
“acceptable behaviour” by athletes, coaches, and officials may be inter-
preted differently depending on whether the competitors are young people
or adults, amateurs or professionals, fringe players or stars, modestly paid
or extravagantly rewarded.
Regardless of differing circumstances, the authorities of all sports should be
mindful of their moral responsibility in handling integrity breaches. This is
not merely because sport has become big business, with enormous sums of
money at risk. While some actors, including sports journalists and other com-
mentators, may be sceptical or cynical about the motivations of key decision
makers in sport, ample evidence from the business world overall suggests that
long-term, sustainable competitive success reflects a strong sense of moral
purpose. The most successful leagues and teams recognise why, ultimately,
fans attend games and spend money on sport. Players, owners, executives,
and representatives of other constituencies affiliate with sport because they
love the game and can’t see themselves doing anything else. Most fans, and
most players, are neither sceptics nor cynics. For them, sport is more than a
business. Recognising this magnifies the importance of preserving its integ-
rity and mitigating its threats.
© MONITOR QUEST LTD. 2011
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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