An immense quantity of money and increasing audience in professional sports has in the recent past, promoted corruption. Different types of graft that affect sports system pervert integrity, and confidence for the industry. Graft has invaded most sporting establishments causing harm to the industry. The vice associates with several management decisions such as; competitions to host venues for prestigious contests, recommendations for staff positions, and commissioning for construction of sports facilities. Sports has increased in popularity as the audience expands worldwide, and as such, individuals and groups misuse the prestigious nature of the industry. Integrity is an essential virtue to consider in the winning process of any sports activity. Corruption involves more than the exchange of money or a favor (Boudreaux et al. 2016, p.870). Graft, therefore, can be both financial and managerial. These forms of menace affecting the sports industry include doping, institutional corruption, and match-fixing.
Corruption in the world of sports can be defined in several ways. Corruption may be described as the act in which athletes fail to attain their appropriate results in the games they participate allowing others to win (Wouters, Ryngaert & Cloots, 2013, p.205). Wouters et al. (2013, p.205) further describe the menace as the act by sports leadership to execute their roles without observing the principles that govern the dignity of their clubs or associations. Graft influences administrators to deviate from their objectives because they gain financial or prestigious paybacks. Although most sporting institutions encounter various challenges in their efforts to tackle graft, they endeavor to combat the menace to maintain their integrity. This paper intends to discuss the categories of corruption in the sporting industry and various illustrations of past cases. The essay will go further to describe various international and local initiatives to combat graft cases in the world of sports.
Doping is the application of illegal chemical substances amongst athletes to enhance performance while using less effort. Athletes use different forms of the performance-enhancing substances which are administered in different ways (Baumann, 2012, p.156). Medical specialists have modified these enhancement substances over the years to improve their causative effects on athletes. The latest form of doping is the blood type where the athletes use blood transfusion or Erythropoietin, EPO. EPO will increase the blood's oxygen carrying capacity which correlates to high endurance (Morente-Sanchez & Zabala, 2013, p.400). The development of new forms of drugs promotes the use of PEDs which makes the fight against the menace, a complex task to WADA.
There are several examples that illustrate past cases of doping. Marion Jones, an athlete in the track and field events tested positive for an illegal drug (Morente-Sanchez & Zabala, 2013, p.408). Doping allegations arose after the 2000 Olympics which she had won three gold medals and bronze medals. Her husband confirmed the allegations of her involvement in the use of steroids. Morente and Zabala, (2013, p. 409) further stated that Marion's ex-husband publicly confirmed that the claims were true as he had seen her injecting herself with steroids. Most spectators would highly recognize sportsmen such as Jones in the world of sports, as successful and hardworking individuals. Such sportsmen, after achieving victory in a competition, may act as role models to other upcoming talents. They, however, win unfairly as they compete with opponents who are in their natural form and state. The athletes on PEDs deny the rightful winners of any competition their deserved victory; only to hand back the medals. The example of Jones indicates the use of drugs to unethically influence the outcome of a contest hence promoting corruption.
Governments and sporting authorities have taken several measures in the recent years to control doping. A sports association, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) established the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to deal with these Performance-Enhancing Drugs (PEVs). WADA has improved methods of detecting performance-enhancing drugs in athletes. The International sports movement and governments fund the anti-doping programs. In addition to testing athletes for PEDs, the agency has also established programs to educate athletes on the dangers of doping and scientific research. The ban on the use of PEDs intends to promote equal opportunity to all the participants, and as such, promote fair play. The objective of WADA is also to promote integrity in sports and prevent harm to the athletes (Dimant & Deutscher, 2015). The sporting agencies should maintain the ban on PEDs. Athletes who win in a clean competition have confidence in their victory. The pride of winning depends on the integrity of any competition. In their survey, Morente-Sanchez, and Zabala, (2013, p.406) suggest that fair play without drugs will promote the spirit of sports since the opponents can genuinely commend the winners' performance. The need for ethics in contests should, therefore, drive the campaign against PEVs.
Moreover, WADA facilitated the formation of national anti-doping agencies in member countries. As an example, United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) has executed over a hundred thousand tests on athletes for the illegal drugs. Additionally, the main football leagues have agreements with the corresponding players' associations involving PEVs (Morente-Sanchez, & Zabala, 2013, p. 408). Depending on the sports association of different countries, penalties subjected to players differ. For instance, in the United States of America, the first offense by a basketball player amounts to up to two games ban while the second offence will correspond to forty-five games ban (Hunt, Dimeo & Jedlicka, 2012, p. 55). On the other hand, a football player will receive a ten-match ban for the first offence and a two-season ban for the second test failure.
Sports regulation bodies resist interference from governments, therefore, limiting accountability and transparency within the organizations. Over the past years, most sports agencies have failed to observe integrity in the running of their programs. FIFA officials, for instance, have been under pressure over allegations of corruption. The media accused the association of taking bribes during the bidding for 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The graft that involves bidding bribery is referred to as the host bribery (Andreff, 2012). Host bribery may involve senior government administrators who bribe to have the prestige of hosting a sporting event. Some state officials engage in corruption since they expect gifts and favors. Boudreaux et al. (2016, p. 870) describe an instance where officials of the Brazilian National Football Association received expensive gifts during the 2014 World Cup. Such allegations of the graft are due to weak policies in the authorities. Most sporting authorities lack regulatory check-ups to amend their flaws hence facing challenges in the fight against bribery.
Football is highly competitive and popular in Europe with the best football leagues in the world. The English Premier league, EPL is the most popular with one of the richest clubs globally. The clubs are however, facing various problems such as fraud. Fraud is due to lack or presence of inappropriate management structures of the clubs. Most clubs, less than 24% have internal audits while less than 10% of them recognise techniques to counter fraud (Gee, Button, & Brooks, 2011). Fraud in football: research into how football protects itself against fraud. One may be surprised how clubs in EPL with big budgets would lack audit structures to monitor and evaluate the clubs cash flow. There are several categories of fraud in the sporting industry which includes ticket sales, payroll, tax evasion and procurement. The clubs should therefore endeavour to combat these vice. The association should encourage the formation of internal audit department among football clubs. The football managements should also exercise counter fraud strategies. These efforts to tackle the menace will promote trust among stakeholders in the industry.
Sporting bodies should provide methods to monitor their adherence to the code of ethics. These associations have an administrative hierarchy which intimidates possible whistle-blowers from reporting any unethical conduct. Therefore, the sports regulators should establish reporting techniques such as hotlines to protect the whistle-blowers (Carpenter, 2012, p. 13). Outsourcing for financial auditors and policy enforcement services can also promote integrity within the authority. The administration should link with external law enforcement agencies. An increase in the audience for sports promotes the interest of lucrative corporate sectors to sponsor events and as such, big money is invested. The big money is sports which are increasingly associating with successful businesses, provides an opportunity for the management to engage in corrupt activities. There are several past events which illustrate high revenues that may tempt sports regulators to practice corruption. For instance, International Olympic Committee (IOC) recorded an income of $ 5 billion for a period of three years. FIFA also reported revenue of $2 billion from the 2014 World Cup (Winand, Zintz, & Scheerder, 2012, p. 225). The revenue collection in sports shows an increasing trend over the years which may further encourage misappropriation of the funds.
Another factor that promotes misappropriation of funds is the status of the sports authorities. Sporting federations belong to a category different from other corporate bodies. The games organizations are as non-profit authorities. This non-profit status is a challenge to the accountability of the bodies in relation to rules and policies that govern other entities. The sports entities need to adopt the practices used by corporations such as regulation by private audit firms. However, the agencies hold a different status from other corporate entities which limits transparency and accountability, as such, making it difficult to identify and combat corruption. There are several pieces of evidence to show lack of accountability among sports organizations. The international community considers the sports federations as non-profit and voluntary associations. This status makes it difficult to subject them to international or national laws that regulate other business activities among corporate authorities. For instance, the salaries and allowances of most prominent corporate executive officers and managing directors are online. For example, the secretary general of the United Nations earned a total compensation of $ 240,000 while in office (Boudreaux et al. 2016, p. 866). Such public posts of information on the websites of organizations promote transparency. However, such information on the compensation for the FIFA president is absent and the release is impossible, a proof of unaccountability.
Unethical behaviour in sports may also involve match fixing. Match-fixing involves the dishonest influencing of the outcome of a game. Match-fixing happens when a sporting event leads to a pre-determined outcome due to the violation of the law of the game (Carpenter, 2012, p. 13). For instance, there are cases where match officials or players receive bribes to affect the outcome of a sports contest. The results of such games may be partially pre-determined by a certain pre-set score or an intentional penalty. The aim of the penalty is to maintain the outcome of a game with the advantage of gamblers who are aware of the fixed match. Issuing money to selected match regulators or...
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