Cheating in Sports
Sports are governed by sets of rules or customs and often, competition. Sports have always been a way to connect us to our past and to build optimism about the future. Sport’s a way to bond the people despite differences in race, age and gender. However, today the game that is supposed to teach character, discipline and team work is teaching cheating. And in today’s world, with fame, endorsement, drugs and so much to gain, it is not surprising that athletes are cheating in sports. Cheating in sports is not new thing; it started the day when humans first discovered athletic competitions. According to the Los Angeles Times (August 20, 2006) “More than 2,000 years before Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear and was disqualified in the boxing ring, Eupolus of Thessaly, a boxer in the Olympics of 388 BC, bribed three of his opponents to take dives. Historians consider Eupolus' crime the first recorded act of cheating in sports” (Pugmire 7). We have been seeking an easier way to win. Cheating in sports, which recently has manifested in diverse forms, is more a result of increasing pressure to win from the sponsors and team management, especially in the context of sport becoming a career rather than an act of recreation. What actually constitutes cheating? When does gamesmanship stop and cheating start? And should we try to stop cheating in sports? The use of illegal drugs, huge amount of money and betting is ruining the fame of sports. Hence, cheating in sports is caused by drugs and the desire for endorsement and fame which are getting more effective in recent.
Drug use in sports is considered cheating. Doping has many historical backgrounds, but now it is on a larger scale in order to maximize performance. The elite athletes can earn tens of millions of dollars every year in prizes, and millions more in sponsorship and endorsements. But the penalties for cheating are small. A six months or one year ban for competition is a small penalty. The use of performance enhancing drugs is increasing day by day. Shocking doping cases happened during the Seoul 1998 summer Olympic Games. For example, Canadian runner Ben Johnson tested positive in a drug test for anabolic steroids. Therefore, Johnson lost his 100 m gold medal to long time competitor Carl Lewis (Blackwell 1). Whereas, most athletes persist taking steroids believing that this substance provides a competitive advantages but on the other hand it can cause a life time ban on sports after a positive dope test. Professor John Hoberman, Department of Germanic studies at University of Texas at Austin noted “In August 1968, the Belgian distance runner Joseph Rombaux was disqualified for a positive dope test after winning the national marathon championship. He was banned from athletics for life” (394).
Cheating for the best performance in the sports is against the spirit of the sports. According to Professor John Hoberman, Department of Germanic studies at...