Sustainable, Addiction-Free, Fair, and Ethical Sport for All

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Boys play on a soccer field near the Community Center of Pirajá, in the suburbs of Salvador, Bahia.  Photo: Mariana Ceratti / World Bank

Sport is no longer an activity solely associated with exercising the human body and mind. It’s a global industry that captivates billions of people, employs millions, and generates as much revenue, according to a recent study, as one percent of global GDP.
 
Growing at around seven percent annually between 2009 and 2013 – that’s faster than the GDP of most countries in the world – sport has become a behemoth. And with huge size comes a darker side. Corruption, cheating, bribery. It’s time to clean up sport and promote healthy physical education with a new global initiative.
 
Since the beginning of the 20th century, modern sport has been self-governed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as international sport federations (ISFs) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Many of those NGOs have become immersed in corruption scandals.

These scandals have included accusations of bribe-taking during bidding processes, criticism of the handling of host country nominations, doping and match fixing. The very core of international sports competition has been shaken and begs for the intervention of governments and intergovernmental organizations such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe to work in partnership with these NGOs.
 
Two types of corruption plague sport: On-the-field corruption by athletes, team officials, referees through doping, match fixing and hooliganism. And off-the-field corruption by managers, officials and operators through bribes, rigged contracts, misuse of authority, influence peddling and insider information. Both compromise the integrity of sport and create unacceptable situations, including money laundering, kickbacks, illegal betting, public health issues, and human trafficking.
 
Corruption can lead athletes to commit suicide or become dependent on drugs, collapse on the field of play, even be persecuted by organized crime. As the unregulated sports industry grows exponentially, its darker side is becoming increasingly prevalent with doping and bribery scandals.
 
In developing countries, sports play a natural role in gender inclusiveness.   Many leaders of these countries use sport as a vehicle to unite the population and restore pride.
 
It’s clear we must protect sport from neglect and corruption. We need a proactive and preventive initiative that will kick start a global debate in which all stakeholders can share their views on combating corruption in sport.
 
The World Bank Group is a natural partner and leader for those interested in correcting and improving ethics in sport. With its intellectual expertise, it can provide solutions for a global sports community that has been unable or unwilling to act on its own.
 
Many academics believe the world is desperately yearning for sport that is sustainable, addiction-free, fair, and ethical. The World Bank Group and UNESCO are the only global bodies within the United Nations system that have the knowledge and resources to clean up sport and preserve it for generations to come.
 
Now we need to engage individuals, experts, athletes, and organizations in a global discussion. Let’s turn this discussion about sport and ethics into a global game changer. 

Authors

Join the Conversation

Tim Erson
December 14, 2014

The photo by Mariana Ceratti that accompanies this article speaks volumes about why sport that is fair and ethical is so important. Children who play sports like to have sports heroes. Often children are motivated to practice so that they can imitate those heroes even if it’s just in their own backyard. How unfortunate when “profit” is takes precedent over the “people”, especially when those people are children for whom sport can be such a great motivator. My fear is that many young people will become disillusioned and/or negatively influenced by continued reports of corruption and cheating and miss out on the many positive aspects of sport which includes healthy physical activity and developing a sense of fair play. In my own work as a physical therapist I’ve had opportunities to work with students and teachers in the public school to promote physical activity for children with and without special needs, and to use it as an adjunct to learning. Many studies from around the world reveal that children who experience a healthy dose of both physical and mental activity during the school day are better attuned to creative thinking, more socially engaged, and more efficient as learners per unit of time spent in academic curricula. Youth and their healthy physical, emotional and spiritual development is the reason that sport, and especially elite sport, needs to be free and clear of the baggage that comes from the often reported negative influences mentioned in this article.

Paulina R.
December 30, 2014

I greatly enjoyed reading your article. I am a former Division I NCAA athlete and I can relate greatly to the topic you are discussing. You touched upon a very broad topic that continues to surface more now than ever before, especially with the prevalence of social media. I really would like to hear more about your opinion on how to keep sports clean and fair.

Peter Byrne
December 30, 2014

I have to agree with these other commentators, this article is a good start but it needs to go into greater detail about the problems and statistics. After the recent FIFA scandal, I have been trying to get more insight into the corruption that plagues large sports organizations, so I hope you guys will follow up on this.

G
January 11, 2015

I agree as well. It will be nice to have a more in depth statistics on the reality of the subject and how we can go about putting an end to this.

Gill Richards
December 29, 2014

Hello I am writing to inform you that I greatly enjoyed your post however I think given the fact that this is a prevelant problem in the sports community this issue should be elaborated on. Having a son it is very important to me that he understands that proffesional sports should be played clean and in a healthy enviroment. I am a true believer that sports are for all and for life! Please do your best to provide more information on this topic. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Gill Richards
December 29, 2014

I enjoyed reading your article however I strongly believe that you should elaborate a little more on such an important and current issue in sports today! Iam a father and have a little boy I wish he will be able to practice sports in a healthy and clean enviroment. Please consider writing something more extensive.

Suleiman Khan
January 02, 2015

Coming from a country that lives off of sports, Saudi Arabia is suffering from the exact same problems. All of my friends love sports and support it religiously. Usually they have a favorite player that they look up to. So much so that they dress the same, walk the same, and try to imitate them as closely as possible. Unfortunately, this lead them to become blind followers. When one of their favorite players did something in real life, or even commanded that they buy a certain product that they promoted, whether it was good or bad, they would do it without thinking for themselves what it meant to do it. For instance, my close friend started smoking because he saw his favorite soccer player smoking one time. Although knowing it was harmful, he still committed to the act claiming that it was of his own choice despite never smoking his entire life until that very point.
I agree with the writer that the government bodies should take a stand and put a stop to the corruption that has long festered in the world of sport. It should not be tolerated. The world bank and UNESCO are a perfect place to start since they hold peoples' benefits above that of governmental benefits.
This article has brought light to something long ignored. It also has the potential to change the long-ignored subject. However, It lacks in depth. It is not elaborate enough to capture and entice a larger audience so that awareness of the matter can spread. The sad fact of life, is that there are some people, whom I know, that would look at an article's length and determine it not important or important based of off the amount of work put into it. Yes, this article is well written but requires a lot more information and data to back it up.

Ying Ma
January 04, 2015

I'm a 24-year-old young woman from Guangdong, China, and I'm an avid lover of outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking and biking, racquet sports such as badminton and racquet ball. Reading the article above,I can't be more agree with the idea of supporting pure sports,- sports that are free of corruption, that are sustainable, addiction-free, fair, and ethical.
Sports is a wonderful activity, which changed my life. I used to be extremely shy and mildly depressed in my childhood because of my family, however, when i start to do sports, my sadness went away, and most importantly, I find my hobby and gain confidence. Thus i would never understand that people cheat in games in order to chase fame and success, for doing sports itself is a great activity. Cheating and corruption destroy the meaning of sports.
I went to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011, when i turned 21, and i did it despite all diffculties, then Mount Aconcagua in Argentina at age 23, and Mount Elbrus in Russia this year,all of these summit climbing make me believe that my life is a movement, a tendency, a steady, ceaseless progress towards an unseen goal, and now i can hardly imagine my life without sports, and a connection to nature. As a result of which, I develop the same mentality at work and study, keep moving toward my goals and dreams and never give up. Undoubtedly, all of these positive significance of exercise would make me a firm suppoter of this idea of "Sustainable, Addiction-Free, Fair, and Ethical Sport",since sports is such a wonderful thing that should be stainless and hopefully, it can keep sending out more and more postive energies to all sorts of people around the world now and forever.

Kara Springer
January 07, 2015

Sports are an ideal way to introduce young children to the ideas of teamwork and healthy living. It does no one any good to throw corruption and unsafe practices into something that can be very important for tiny peeps. Sports figures who live a good life and practice their craft in an honorable way should be recognized ahead of those who look to be in it for the money or fame. The former are the ideal role models for the kids who are following in their footsteps.
There should be strong penalties for those look at sports as a way to cushion bank accounts or gain undue influence.

Yannick Sinda
January 07, 2015

I do agree that sport plays an important role in our society today because it helps people to express themselves. Sport has a lot of advantage in human body because of all these virtues. Not only about the health, but also sport allows poor people to get out of the poverty if they are successful in their discipline. From soccer, basketball, and football we have a lot of players who came from poor family and today because of their success they do not live in poverty anymore.
I think the United Nations with his program of eradicating poverty in the world must continue to involve in sports by investing money and rising consciousness in some leaders in the world because practicing successfully sport can help to reduce poverty in the world. What we see in many countries in the world especially in Africa, politics interfere in sport because they want to use it like a way to get money from government and to put it in their personal account inside of investing this money for the good functioning of the sport. For example, we have many African politicians who use their power or influence to divert money that the government put on sports, as consequences players do not want to get evolves in the game and this fact result to bad results.
The world Bank should consider to invest more in soccer for example in poor countries by opening academy soccer because people who may be in these academy can come out with different ideas such as they do not have to do war if they want to get out of poverty or to contribute to the development of their countries because being successful in soccer can help them to improve their lives and their communities.

Emile El Ghandour
January 07, 2015

Humans love competition, we strive to be better then our mates, it is only part of our nature to want to win at any cost. Competition is a big part of our evolution but it drives us to cheat not only in sports but life.
With that being said I don't believe there will ever be fair sports, it is part of the sport to do what it takes to get to the top, it is an unspoken rule that all winners use.

Carmen Casado
January 07, 2015

Society associates sport with ideal values such as comradeship, fair play, learn how to win and get over the frustration of losing. Since we are kids we are educated to admire and fulfil these values that work for many other aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, many people, as they become older, are tempted by a fast and easy success, losing in that way some of these values. Alike these individuals, sport has grown up from amateur to high level professional competitions, in which the difference between winning and losing is not only an emotional issue, but also a matter of money.
Our society consider appropriated certain attitudes, values, norms, and actions, and that is why we are educated following moral rules that have been evolving along the time according to previous experiences. We must not allow that this knowledge acquired with great effort is destroyed by some elements of our society that put success before ethics. If we want to keep the values by which our society is ruled we must fight against these behaviors. Sport is a form of education and consequently, it is extremely important to achieve to make it honest and clean. If we permit tricks, the transmitted message would be misunderstood. As part of a collective, each of us have the duty to battle this cause.

Inés Paris
January 12, 2015

Sports are not only the source of a ealthy life in our society due to the common sedentary life that most of the technology provide us with. They are also the common ground for some values that are lacking nowadays in most of the occidental society. Sports allow children to understand from a very young age what fellowship and norms are. It is the way they can understand how to work in a team. What it is most important, it democratise relationship, all become equal and at the same time there is room for heroes.
But as Carmen said all this values have been corrupted they have been taken away in order to justify an unhealthy competition not only between players by even nations. It has been turned into an element of division, for example in my country Spain.
It is important to keep sports clean of this blind attitude towards the difference that we as universal citizens might have.
It is important because they are one of the most simple and clean ways to teach and to be taught. It is not the problem of an individual that must prove his or her value it is the problem of the society it is the problem of all of us.

Santino Leta
January 07, 2015

I agree with the article I truly beleave that they need to crack down on the corruption, cheating, bribery. Every little kid has a hero in sports some where. If that hero is dopeing or cheating the kid will think is all right to do those things and it is not. So we really need to stop the cheating corruption and bribery in sports.

Robel Alemu
January 07, 2015

I found this article to be quite insightful. A lot of people that watch sports, do not know what's really going on behind the scenes and I feel this article sheds some light on the corruption that occurs in the sports world. By coming together to clean up the corruption and bribery that takes place in the world of sports, we can ensure the safety of our sports players and promote sports for what it really is, an activity that promotes physical and mental health for people around the globe.

JOSHUA TSAI
January 07, 2015

I considerably agree your concept. Indeed, we ought to protect those athletes and clean up sport. About this issue, because there also are a lot of scandals in my country, the Republic of China, Taiwan, I paid attention on this issue early. I found out that these scandals seldom occur in the US and Japan. Hence, I started to think this reason what factor cause the culture. Then, I think the reason is the salary of athletes. In my country, the salary of wonderful professional baseball player is only about NT4, 000,000 ($125,000) per year whereas, in the US, a baseball player can at least $1,000,000 per year. How different the salary is! Therefore, in my country, it is easy for the mafias to bribe those athletes. To sum up, in my opinion, if we want to thoroughly clean up sport, the first thing which we need to do is giving more money to help them.

Matlyuba F
January 07, 2015

Hi I don't know much about sport, but practicing clean sport is very essential to everyone. I never played any types sport during my high school years because of the fact I had language issues, and I didn't want to play with others without not understanding the rules and requirements of different types of sports. But I am a huge fan of clean and uncorrupted sports. In order to stop this we must test new sport players when they do try outs or check their play records from previous teams. Not to recently, I heard that FIFA has been labelled for having too much corruption which is true. According transparency international the global coalition against corruption, reported that the large number of scandals across many sports damages not only the image of sport, its federations and representatives, but compromises good effective sport where it has in spreading the values of good sportsmanship and integrity, especially for young people. So working to eliminate corruption in sport goes to the very heart of our mission. Due to this information I found, having good and clean sport is essential.

Adriana Sedjeu
January 07, 2015

There are individuals who do not wish to pursue upper level studies, and there are others who cannot afford to. For the few who are truly gifted sports are the only way out. This is their way of contributing to our society by entertaining us, but also, by encouraging young minds to stay active. It is very important for sports to be ethical since they are based on competition and fairness. Many children have athletes they look up to, or people they aspire to become. Athletes are role models that have a lot of influence on others whether they know it or not. By corrupting sports, not only are you corrupting the athlete, but you are also corrupting everyone who aspires to go pro. For example, recruiters will take advantage of underprivileged children and their talents for personal gain and money. They know how desperate these kids are for the opportunity of being a successful athlete. It may encourage children from a young age to cheat and deceive, because they are led to believe that it is acceptable to achieve a higher status without the required and necessary personal investment in that field. Today we put athletes on such a high pedestal. As their fans we expect so much from them, sometimes even constant perfection. Without knowing it, we encourage them to corrupt themselves so they can keep up with our standards of what an athlete should be. People follow the money. Where there is money there is power, and where there is power there is often corruption. We need to make a change to ensure sports are less about fame and money and more about being active and healthy. At the end of the day, sports bring communities together.

Lilly Ng
January 07, 2015

This was a very thoughtful and interesting article to read. Who knew that sports - an escape from reality, a hobby, a passion, could turn into such an ugly thing and change people negatively. Sports are very competitive now. It's crazy the extent people do and what they will do just to get that title of winning 1st place. The amount of bribery, cheating, and corruption within sports is getting absurd. Nevertheless, putting pressure on athletes can put a lot of stress on them which leads them to drugs and alcohol which defeats the purpose of playing a sport. We should be playing sports in a healthy, safe, and fair manner. It should be a way to bring a community together, not tear each other apart.

Fiorella Rayme
January 07, 2015

This article has brought a good point about how sports are changing. I agree that sport is no longer an activity just solely associated with exercising but it has not drift on to the bad side of corruption.
Sports have become more competitive over the years and since they managed by private organizations, this has lead to even corruption when it comes to matches or getting into a team.
No longer sports being played just for fun its degrading the value of them and turning it into an activity that is was not at the beginning.

Christina Do
January 07, 2015

After reading this article, I became more informed with other aspects regarding sports. Sports promotes health while corrupting the athlete and the views of young children who are active in the sports community. As an education major, I have learned that children need to maintain good levels of physical activity in order to be healthy. That is why we have PE in schools. It is now taken under consideration that children with special needs become more involved in sports in order to have equal access to health and social benefits. But with social media displaying famous athletes and their drug addictions, it sets a bad image for the sports teams.It also decreases a person's interest in their team. The question becomes, "How do we promote physical health through sports without revealing a corrupted athlete"

Hyunji Lim
January 07, 2015

Excessive greed often causes negative results. As example of Africa above, many things that are spoiled and polluted in present used to be innocent and pure. However, original proper purposes and uses of many activities faded away because of people’s stake and greed.
As the article, I think the most activity that lost the natural purpose is sports. Some people neglect and corrupt for win and money. I think that there should be the part that does not get polluted. Therefore, this article was interesting, and I hope sports will soon be fair, addiction-free, sustainable, and ethical!

Xiao Chen
January 08, 2015

Cheating and corruption in sports have definitely gone up over the years, whether it is on-field or off-field. Sport has now become a cash cow for greedy corporations. For example, after the World Cup 2014 was held in Brazil, clubs competitively start buying out players. Very few people knew who James Rodriguez was before the World Cup, but after his performance at the World Cup he became such a poster boy that Real Madrid immediately spent $108 millions dollars buying him onto their team. Sport is now a multimillion dollar business. It is solely about which athlete can help rank in the most money, it is no longer about "exercising the human body and mind".
Of course, no matter which sport it is, when companies invest so much money on their athletes, they (companies, fans, media, sponsors, ect.) place high hopes and expectations on these athletes to pull a flawless performance. Players are under tremendous pressure! That is part of the corruption that results in some athletes, unfortunately turn to drugs for enhancement.
Other examples of on-field cheating or corruptions comes when referees are clearly being bias. We saw many of those happening during the World Cup 2014. Many suspects it has to do with "misuses of authority, [or] influence peddling and insider information". The unfortunately thing is that people (mainly fans) who has witness the unfairness cannot do anything about it. The fans are not powerful enough to make a change (yet).
One huge off-field corruptions is illegal betting, People can get stripped away from their money in an instant. The lost of money often driven fans into suicide. We also have seen destroying or burning jerseys or buses when their team lose. It creates a hostile environment that is unhealthy for everyone.

Nate L
January 08, 2015

Although I haven't familiarized myself with this topic thoroughly, I completely agree with this article. The main focus of sports has become primarily concerned with money, what happened to games being considered fun? Too much has become expected of the sport's players as they are pressured to perform flawlessly. I find the fact that leagues cheat and threaten players extremely disappointing. This completely defeats the purpose of playing the game. Sport leagues around the world need to redeem themselves by considering what's really important in their money-seeking organization.

Tatyana Kiryutina
January 08, 2015

I appreciate sports for making us fit and healthy and a reason for people and countries to come together. It is a whole realm of sharing hobbies, making people feel energized all day, and making us strong. When it comes to sport teams competing for their countries, I can get together with friends or clubs to watch the process. Each time I think what it would be like to devote a big part of my life being a country’s top team sport or Olympic sport, I imagine very intense schedule of training. Being this good at sports and pushing to reach such a high physical accomplishment must require high determination, motivation, and never giving up.
The signs of corruption mentioned above taint the purity of sports. To change the existence of sports for health, friendship, and pride to addiction and cheating for money is a bad action. Addictions and cheating cannot change anyone to a better person. People who do that tend to feel guilty, cover it up with blame, and continue their process to corruption. I support this movement to change the sports industry to a more ethical, addiction-free, and honest place.

Joann Valentine
January 08, 2015

I can honestly say that I truly was informed while reading this article. I'm not really that big into sports, I really don't play or watch them. But I have a lot of people in my life that are so into sports. They watch it all the time and some are actually involved into sports where I can see this issue being a problem to them. It is sad to see how the corruption of sports will affect and not only the athletes, the game, but it also affects the fans who watch the sport. There definitely needs to be an end with the lies and corruption!

Sxlightxa(Yuxin Liu)
January 08, 2015

This article has brought me a very interesting point of view of physical education that I never thought about. To a person who love physical education, these corruption would truly disturbs an pure interest and turns it into an event all about business and politcal issues. To me, most business and politcal issues are corrupted in this world because they contain so many undertable deals, and it is all about money, money, money!
There is an old saying in Chinese,”everything that deals with selling and buying, would likely turning to be harmful”. I have heard about there are many underground sport lotteries in South American and some mexican countries, and local powerful criminals are very involved in spending millions of dollar in these games and they would punish the physicians that did not perform as well very cruely, sometimes even killed them. Not only it does not only brought pressures to the atheletes, and it threatened these atheletes from going to participate. These corruptions presents the weakness of governments in thoese countries.
However, there must be some solutions to stop the corruptions about physical education. I think one of the most significant way to stop them is to encourage or motivate the governments to take actions. Sometimes the local criminals are too strong for government to take a step, but it is governments’ responsbilities to protect these atheles because they are there to represent the country. It is not an entertaining article but very thoughtful and supportive, it can tell how much this person has passion in writing about the corrupted physical education.

Cristian Cordova
January 08, 2015

As an athlete myself, I do agree with such corruption occurring in the world of sports today. I believe many of us have forgotten the true purpose of sports. Sports provide us with innumerable health benefits, a great source of entertainment for many individuals, and lastly, sports have the incredible power to unite individuals. Some people in our communities are sightless and irrational over one thing. Victory. The urge to win results in accusations of bribery-taking during bidding processes, criticism of the handling of host country nominations, doping and match fixing, which were all listed above. Im all for competition, however, it should be done fairly. Us athletes should not forget the true purpose of sports and how they should be played clean and fairly. Stricter education on this conflict should we enforced. That s how we will clean up and preserve sports for generations to come.

shaked cohen
January 08, 2015

I enjoyed reading this article.
Sports are very important for our mind and body. It is very important to encourage our children to excersize daily. Rather than sitting infront of a TV watching a show and just sitting and eating.
We should envourage everyone to excersize it is free and sustainable. Everyone should.
Thank you for this article Professor Sibilski

Mac
January 08, 2015

Sports should be free of doping. Athletes should rely on their natural abilities so that they do not give young people the wrong impression about what is possible. There should be strong repercussions for those who do not follow the rules regarding illicit substances.

Priscilla O
January 08, 2015

This article brings up an issue that most of society is blind to its severity. In general, sports are an outlet to a whole new world of opportunities and aspirations. Every year, thousands of students are awarded scholarships to college by playing a sport for their hard work, both academically and physically. It gives children and young adults a chance for a better future. Professional athletes have a major influence on society. Their every move is watched, idolized, and tracked statistically play by play. It is imperative to encourage these players to exhibit appropriate behavior and inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams. The average professional athlete makes a pretty comfortable salary and is able to live above their means, however, the monetary reward should not outweigh the gifts of giving back to charities, helping their communities, or even visiting schools and talking to the children face-to-face. If sports could do without the drugs, briberies, and violations from the players and corporate officers, then there would be an infinite amount of potentional to spread positive vibes throughout the world. After all, sports bring people from all walks of life together, and has much more of an impact than society is aware of.

Priscilla O
January 08, 2015

This article brings up an issue that most of society is blind to its severity. In general, sports are an outlet to a whole new world of opportunities and aspirations. Every year, thousands of students are awarded scholarships to college by playing a sport for their hard work, both academically and physically. It gives children and young adults a chance for a better future. Professional athletes have a major influence on society. Their every move is watched, idolized, and tracked statistically play by play. It is imperative to encourage these players to exhibit appropriate behavior and inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams. The average professional athlete makes a pretty comfortable salary and is able to live above their means, however, the monetary reward should not outweigh the gifts of giving back to charities, helping their communities, or even visiting schools and talking to the children face-to-face. If sports could do without the drugs, briberies, and violations from the players and corporate officers, then there would be an infinite amount of potentional to spread positive vibes throughout the world. After all, sports bring people from all walks of life together, and has much more of an impact than society is aware of.

Mac
January 08, 2015

Sports should be free of doping. Athletes should rely on their natural abilities so that they do not give young people the incorrect impression about what is possible. There should be strong repercussions for those who violate the rules and use illicit substances.

Priscilla O
January 08, 2015

This article brings up an issue that most of society is blind to its severity. In general, sports are an outlet to a whole new world of opportunities and aspirations. Every year, thousands of students are awarded scholarships to college by playing a sport for their hard work, both academically and physically. It gives children and young adults a chance for a better future. Professional athletes have a major influence on society. Their every move is watched, idolized, and tracked statistically play by play. It is imperative to encourage these players to exhibit appropriate behavior and inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams. The average professional athlete makes a pretty comfortable salary and is able to live above their means, however, the monetary reward should not outweigh the gifts of giving back to charities, helping their communities, or even visiting schools and talking to the children face-to-face. If sports could do without the drugs, briberies, and violations from the players and corporate officers, then there would be an infinite amount of potential to spread positive vibes throughout the world. After all, sports bring people from all walks of life together, and has much more of an impact than society is aware of.

Morgan
January 08, 2015

The governing bodies of sports should be held to a very high standard. Corruption can't be permitted to be as prevalent as it is. Do the governing bodies need their own governing body?

Huntly
January 08, 2015

While the author makes a valid point of the overall sports industry having issues with corruption, the mark is missed on some of the details & ideas on resolving the problem. First of all, a lot of the mental & emotional issues suffered by athletes are often the results of severe head trauma caused by inadequate protection. While one can blame associations, lack of government oversight, etc. for all the issues, it really comes down to individuals. Athletes need to stand up & speak up for themselves and each other, and the public needs to say "enough" and be willing to boycott any organizations &/franchises that practice unacceptable &/or immoral behavior. Yes, unfortunately there is a tremendous amount of corruption in our world today. It is often driven by greed. Government can't fix the problem as there's just as much corruption in politics as there are in any other industry. The media needs to do their jobs by investigating & reporting their findings to the public, the athletes involved need to realize their own value & worth (their job is to play a sport, not to sacrifice their own health & safety to help someone get rich...) & we all need to accept our own roll & responsibility in feeding this "great greed machine" by refusing to support it when they practice unethical behavior. After all, it's our, the consumer's money that supports these massive organizations. Without our support, they wouldn't be able to survive.

Robel Alemu
January 08, 2015

I found this article to be quite insightful. A lot of people that watch sports, do not know what's really going on behind the scenes and I feel this article sheds some light on the corruption that occurs in the sports world. By coming together to clean up the corruption and bribery that takes place in the world of sports, we can ensure the safety of our sports players and promote sports for what it really is, an activity that promotes physical and mental health for people around the globe. If we could establish organizations that monitor what goes on behind the scenes of the sports world, we can cut down on the bribery and corruption that influences the players.These established organizations should also stress the danger of taking drugs to the sports players and implement harsh consequences as a result of their use. Sports players also have a profound influence on society, so they can play their role of advocating the consequences that can come about from using drugs and accepting bribes, and as a result can bring awareness to these problems.

Hannah
January 08, 2015

Thoughtful article. I agree that sports are a venue where it is all too easy to corrupt those who participate. There are massive amounts of money, fame, and benefits involved so the stakes are high. Officials, umpires, and judges are all just humans who likely aren't making a great wage. Even on a very small scale, problems arise. Favorism on youth sports teams is rampant. How many times has a superior player been benched so the coach's son can grab all the glory? I've seen it happen many times. Steroids are also a moral issue that has many people inflamed or torn. As a rising baseball star, for example, when those around you are doing everything they can to achieve their dreams and the competition is intense, steroids and other performance enhancing drugs start to look extremely tempting. Something needs to be done to create generic safety and equality over all fields of sports.

JOSHUA TSAI
January 08, 2015

I considerably agree your concept. Indeed, we ought to protect those athletes and clean up sport. About this issue, because there also are a lot of scandals in my country, the Republic of China, Taiwan, I paid attention on this issue early. I found out that these scandals seldom occur in the US and Japan. Hence, I started to think this reason what factor cause the culture. Then, I think the reason is the salary of athletes. In my country, the salary of wonderful professional baseball player is only about NT4, 000,000 ($125,000) per year whereas, in the US, a baseball player can at least $1,000,000 per year. How different the salary is! Therefore, in my country, it is easy for the mafias to bribe those athletes because they just need to spend over $125, 000. Nevertheless, in the United States, they will spend over $1,000,000 to bribe, which is not worth for them.
To sum up, in my opinion, if we want to thoroughly clean up sport, the first thing which we need to do is giving more money to help them. Because, according to the above-mentioned reason, we can understand that money is a main occasion for the bad development of sports.

lyvia karoline da silva
January 08, 2015

I come from a country where sport is really important, especially soccer. I could say it almost like a religion. In 2014 Brazil had the pleasure to host the world cup. Unfortunately this event was market by several problem,even corruption scandals. It was the most expensive world cup in history more than 11 billion dollares spend almost 4 times what was spend in south africa 4 years ago and there is no reasonable explanation why all this money was spend. It is really a shame that such an amazing event was used for those purpose.
Soccer definitely became a very lucrative marked  nowadays, With fans all over the world. This article bring to discussion a problem that most of us are familiar with but really cared enough and now It is time for change.

Stephani k
January 08, 2015

As a former division one athlete, and current PE teacher, I agree that the downhill slide of sports is becoming more and more prevalent. Sports heros are found to have cheated, games are fixed, athletes think that basic societal rules don't apply to them, etc. Our children are learning that it is Ok to break the rules if you are "famous". Why are we paying so mich money to people who entertain us, and so little money to people who protect us or educate us? I would like to hear more about how the World Bank can change this downhill slide.

Nancy LL
January 08, 2015

Article is a good intro to the corruption steadily growing in the sports world. It's been sad, disappointing, and even shocking to hear how common cheating, bribery, drug use, etc. has become, and realize how ugly things have gotten in almost every area of sports. The one that grieves me the most is the tragedy of human trafficking that has recently been in the news surrounding large sports events. Having our kids in sports throughout school helped build character, self-discipline and endurance, and I'm glad they could participate. But the larger context of problems within sports needs to be publicly discussed, offenders exposed, and solutions found. I applaud those who want to make a difference.

Steven
January 08, 2015

One need only look at the doping scandals that have plagued Olympic sports, as well as Major League Baseball in the US, to understand how pervasive the concept of winning at all costs has become. Has this obsession with becoming the "perfect" athlete defeated the cooperative and competitive nature of sport?
As for the monetary elements, look at the controversy surrounding FIFA and the upcoming World Cup tournament in Qatar. It seems there's an article every day about how FIFA turned a blind eye to the working conditions for laborers in Qatar, and ignored the warnings about the potential impact of the intense summer heat on the athletes? Why? Because, apparently, the money there was there for FIFA to latch onto. International competitions on this scale -- meaning the Olympics as well -- have not been about promoting amateur athletics for decades. It is about money, and winning...at all costs.

Nancy LL
January 08, 2015

This is an excellent introduction to all that has turned ugly in the sports world. I applaud those who are trying to make a difference. It's been sad, disappointing, and even shocking to hear about the corruption, illegal substances, and most recently the horrors of human trafficking connected with events that should have been inspiring examples and uplifting entertainment. Having our kids in sports throughout school helped build character, endurance and self-discipline. Sadly there is too much emphasis placed on winning and money. Would like to see this topic expanded upon.

Gianna Fogelbach
January 08, 2015

In context to the paragraph that mentions what the corruption leads to & the dark side of unregulated sport, it would be useful to the reader to maybe add an example for not only relevance but as a representation of what the severity of issue can lead to. Especially with the more recent controversy of FIFA's World Cup in Rio De Janeiro or the upcoming Winter Olympics in S. Korea, it would be nice if the reader could be shown application & analysis in something that's relevant to them.

Omar
January 08, 2015

We place a lot of stock in sports whether we are the athletes or the fan in the crowd. W/ as much stock as there in sports, it is almost instinctual to exploit it for gain; whether it be to push the game to a higher stage, make more money, or send a cleaner message, sports are shifting athletes and competitors to billboards. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the market is pushing them, either way, with as much money, attention, and passion that goes into sports, we as all have the responsibility to make sure it is as clean as it should be. Preservation should not be our goal in my eyes, its evolution. American Football is not the same as when it started, and neither is futball. Our athletes have gotten fast and stronger over time naturally, and we can progress to the next step in that sports evolution when we have everyone one the same clean page.

Ming
January 08, 2015

Your article accurately points out what is happening in the sports world. As a sports guy, I really feel the issue. Sport has already lost its nature and become a medium of greed. I believe that the majority of the whole wide world would like to see something that can make a change on this issue. It would be great if you can share something more in detail such as a real solution to this problem or how ordinary people can help on it.

Bryan
January 08, 2015

Sports are great for people to experience because of the activities and people it can put together. Sports are also great to promote better health. Sports are corrupt as well and the only way to make sure none of the corruption gets out of hand is to remove people and punish those who can not regulate to the rules. A lot of people look up to athletes as role model's and if they are surrounded with money laundering and bribing and etc it will take away the honor and morals away of competition. Sport officials should do more to keep sports honorable and competitive and helping causes all over the world "speaking as a sports fan".

Victor Chang
January 09, 2015

At first glance this issue—the sport should be cleaned up—it pops into my mind that corruption is also a serious scandal in my country, especially baseball. In Taiwan, there usually are match-fixing (game-throwing) scandals for baseball games. Therefore, I think that it is time to clean up sport.

David Cabrera
January 08, 2015

In developing countries, sports may be the primary way out. They might have a lingering feeling that they are being taken advantage of or used but are uneducated or scared to speak up on it. completely agree that everyone, not just coaches and athletes, should be educated on this subject. Moral and monetary corruption are not just sport related and it is time for that to become a worldview.