Sports Corruption dates back to the 388 B.C Olympic Games when the fist-fighter Eupolos bribed his three competitors. Since then corruption in sports has taken many forms and shapes and today, unfortunately, corruption in sport is at a historic high. There are numerous reasons as to why sports have become a major source, route, and outlet of corruption. From the commercialization of sports to betting, to the political power-games and of course good old human nature, the numerous scandals and fiascos keep reaching new heights with fans across the globe wondering whether the sports industry has reached its lowest point in terms of ethics. The answer is always no.
Corruption is a very broad and deeply entrenched issue in sports. It comes in different forms and sizes including but not limited to Match Fixing, Doping/Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), and even institutional corruption at a national and supranational level. Institutions such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) came under immense scrutiny following the revelation by several whistle-blowers about a state-sponsored doping apparatus set up by the Russian State. Moreover, who can forget the 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal which sent shockwaves across the football world? Or some athletes of the 2000 Spanish Paralympic team which was proven that they were anything but disabled? Let’s not even talk about the hundreds of athletes who were caught doping including some of the industry’s juggernauts such as Diego Maradona, Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, and Maria Sharapova.
This month we are addressing all of the above and more. From doping to betting and match-fixing, we explore their devastating effects on athletes and the industry, showcasing a broad array of infamous cases that damaged the integrity and competitive beauty of the sports we all love, and led to the fall of sports celebrities we have idolized at one point or another.
Athena P. Constantinou