Integrity in Sport

Integrity in Sport        
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, NSIC/Clearinghouse, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Paul Oliver, Director, Oliver and Thompson Consultancy (February 2018)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 12 April 2019
Please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer page for
more information concerning this content.

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Introduction

Unfair play and inappropriate behaviour in sport can be dated back to ancient times. More recently, issues concerning poor integrity, corruption, and incidents of unethical behaviour, appear to be more prevalent in sport. These include illegal and unethical activities such as match-fixing, the use of insider information for illegal betting purposes, the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs), and discrimination or abuse directed at sporting officials, athletes or other persons in a sporting context.


Key Messages 

1

Participation in sport should be based upon the concepts of fairness, fun, sportsmanship, respect, safety, and personal and collective responsibility.

2

There are a number of 'threats' posed to the integrity of sport, including match fixing, results manipulation, gambling, doping, corruption, discrimination, general member protection issues, and unethical behaviour.

3

Rules; codes of conduct; good governance principles; ongoing monitoring and review; and the threat of appropriate sanctions and penalties, are important safeguards protecting the integrity of sport and sports participants.

4

Informed and ethical decision making is a key element ensuring sports and sports participants maintain integrity in their choices and actions.


In Australia laws, rules, and government frameworks on drugs, doping, and match-fixing have been established. Improved governance standards have been enforced to protect against corruption and inequity, and sporting organisations have implemented member protection policies, programs, codes, and education to address player, parent, coach, official, and administrator conduct. Despite this, integrity and ethical violations continue to occur, which takes some of the focus away from the positive aspects of sport. These include the role it can play in teaching social and moral values, such as teamwork; respect for others and for the rules; fair play; equality; honesty; and the physical and mental health benefits and enjoyment that regular participation in sport can offer. 

  • Integrity Guidelines for Directors of Sporting OrganisationsAustralian Sports Commission, (2016). Cover a broad range of integrity issues including anti-doping, sport science and medicine, illicit drugs, match-fixing, child protection, and member protection.
  • Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. Australian Sports Commission, (June 2015). In 2013, the seven sports that received the highest levels of ASC funding were required to meet the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles. The ASC assessed the seven sports’ compliance against the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles and subsequently funding levels were impacted. From 2015, the number of sports subject to the Mandatory Sports Governance Principles increased and in future additional sports may be required to meet them as well. The ASC supports NSOs to best enable compliance, and measures this through the Annual Sports Performance Review process. This process is a vital part of accountability for sports receiving public funding. 
  • Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Bill 2014. Parliament of Australia, (2014). The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Bill 2014 was approved by Parliament in November 2014 and brought Australia's anti-doping legislation into alignment with the revised WADA Code and International Standards that came into force on 1 January 2015.  
  • The National Policy on Match-Fixing in SportAustralian Sports Ministers, (June 2011)

Athletes, coaches and sports administrators live in a complex world where decisions and choices are made every day about health, training, competition, how they can be the best in their chosen sport, and how they can best run their sport. It is a world where performance, values, principles, and purpose collide and where making the right decision is not always straightforward.

  • The underbelly of sport: Dirty Games, Darryl Adair, Associate Professor of Sport Management, University of Technology Sydney, The Conversation, (4 December 2016). Exposés about corruption in sport are not new, but they have become more frequent. There was never a golden age of pure sport, but there is now a growing public realisation that many of sport’s core ideals – such as fairness, integrity, character and respect – are too often real in name only.

That’s why sporting organisations are starting to invest in education and organisational frameworks that are built on a solid foundation of integrity and ethics. Through enhancing competencies such as ethical decision making processes and frameworks, it is hoped they can develop stronger leaders and sound cultures, and positively influence peoples’ moral and ethical judgement abilities and attitudes, thereby reducing the number of integrity issues in sport. 

Integrity is a word commonly associated with modern day sport – it is a complex term that takes on different meanings in different environments and contexts, John Teehan defined integrity as:

the result of unity between a person’s actions and his or her moral image, where individuals must consider the consequences of their behaviours and actions, both for themselves and their communities, and for both the short and long term.
[source: Teehan, J. Character, integrity and dewey’s Virtue Ethics. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 31(4), (1995), 841-863]


The Australian Government Office of Sport, National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) has defined sports integrity as “manifestation of the ethics and values which promote community confidence in sports”, including:
  • fair and honest performances and outcomes, unaffected by illegitimate enhancements or external interests; and
  • positive conduct by athletes, administrators, officials, supporters, and other stakeholders, on and off the sporting arena, which enhances the reputation and standing of the sporting contest and of sport overall.

The 2012 Australian sport sector ethical statement, The Essence of Australian Sport: what we stand for (PDF  - 181 KB), highlights that integrity in sport is vital and that: 

the main responsibility for this lies with decision makers at every level of sport, who should ensure that all policies, programs and services are based on the principles of fairness, respect, responsibility, and safety. Australian Sports Commission, The Essence of Australian Sport, (2012).

Individual and organisational integrity in sport is largely associated with the concepts of fair play, respect for the game, and the rules thereof, as well as positive personal values of responsibility and compassion for others.

A sport that displays ‘integrity’ can often be recognised as honest and genuine in its dealings, championing good sportsmanship, and providing safe, fair, and inclusive environments for all involved. A sport or athlete demonstrating integrity is likely to attract followers, enhance its brand, and support a positive culture.  
  • Integrity in sport needs to grow from the grassroots level, Dennis Hemphill, Associate Professor of Sport Ethics, Victoria University, The Conversation, (9 May 2016). The sporting world was shocked by yet another scandal last week when the Parramatta Eels were found guilty of what National Rugby League CEO Todd Greenberg called “a deliberate, coordinated and sustained system of salary cap cheating”. This sort of behaviour doesn’t just affect the major league team. It can have consequences at all levels of the game. This means global and national attempts to improve governance and safeguard sport from corruption need to have community sport reach if they are to be effective. 

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has also produced 'School Lesson Plans' designed to introduce students from years 9 to 12 to sport issues such as performance-enhancing drugs, fairness, playing by the rules, and ethical decision making. 

Review into the integrity of Australian sport 

In August 2017 then Federal Minister for Sport, the Hon Greg Hunt, announced a review into the integrity of Australian sport as part of the development of the Government's National Sport Plan. The review, led by the Hon James Wood AO QC, examined national and international integrity threats and future challenges, including the rise of illegal offshore wagering, match-fixing, and doping in sport. Additionally, it considered the merits of establishing a dedicated national sports integrity commission.

The review panel held over 40 stakeholder meetings, and reviewed over 30 written submissions referencing sports integrity that were provided through the National Sport Plan website.

The Review Panel terms of reference included: 

  • Examine the current national and international sports integrity threat environment and foreseeable future challenges;
  • Examine the adequacy of Australia’s current sports integrity capability against this current environment, with particular attention to;
  • the capability of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and Australia’s sport sector to address contemporary doping threats, including the anti-doping rule violation process, and opportunities for improvement;
  • the effectiveness of the 2011 National Policy on Match-Fixing, including consideration of the merits of becoming a signatory to the European Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (Macolin Convention), and case for national match-fixing laws;
  • the merits of establishing a formal national platform for effective ongoing detection of and response to betting-related sports corruption; and
  • the merits of establishing a national sports integrity tribunal, as a single independent body to hear anti-doping rule violations and other sports integrity matters;
  • Consider options for structural changes to current sports integrity arrangements, including the merits or otherwise of establishing a dedicated national sports integrity commission or similar entity;
  • Consult widely with stakeholders on the above matters to ensure a comprehensive capture of views and insights to aid the review; and
  • Make recommendations on the above for Government consideration. 

The final report was provided to the Federal Government for consideration and response in March 2018 [source: Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements, Senator The Hon Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Sport media release, (23 March 2018)] and was made public on the first of August 2018. In line with its terms of reference, the Review addresses key domestic and international threats to the integrity of sport and makes 52 recommendations across five key themes: a stronger national response to match fixing; Australian sports wagering scheme; enhancing Australia’s anti-doping capability; a national sports tribunal; and a national sports integrity commission.

On 12 February 2019 Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Sport released the Government Response to the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements. Overall the Government supported most of the recommendations including announcing the establishment of a National Sports Integrity Commission, to be named Sport Integrity Australia (SIA). SIA will bring together ASADA, the National Integrity in Sport Unit & national sport integrity functions of Sport Australia into a single body. They also announced a new National Sports Tribunal, to be piloted over two years to refine capabilities, operations and services.  


A number of questions have arisen around integrity and ethics in sports in Australia and internationally over the past decade, predominantly as a result of increased media and public attention of athletes, organisations, and administrators in both on-field play and off-field behavioural contexts.
  • International forum for sports integrity steps up action to prevent competition manipulation and corruption in sport, IOC media, 16 February 2017). Forum agrees on creation of Olympic movement unit on the prevention of the manipulation of competitions and launch of international sports integrity partnership.
  • UNODC and ICSS launch guide to tackling “crooked practices” in sport, Ben Avison, Event Management, (24 August 2016). Sports, government and other international organizations have contributed to a resource guide (PDF  - 2.1 MB) to investigating corruption and crime in sports – an “underdeveloped” area of law enforcement.
  • Integrity & sport events - Position paper, (PDF  - 1.9 MB), Paul Hover (Mulier Institute) Bake Dijk (Utrecht University) Koen Breedveld (Mulier Institute) Frank van Eekeren (Utrecht University) (red.) With contributions from Marjan Olfers (VU University) Wim Keijsers & Jan Hein Boersma (Bureau Nieuwe Gracht) Ryan Gauthier (Erasmus University Rotterdam), (April 2016). Sport events are appreciated as important sources of inspiration and positive energy. Yet, for a growing number of people, the negative aspects of sport events have come to cast a shadow over sport events as a positive experience. Questions and doubts have been raised about the transparency and good governance of the different processes surrounding sport events as well as the integrity of the actors involved.
  • Scandal & Corruption Special Edition, International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, (PDF  - 861 KB) Vol. 11, Number 3, April 2010. This special edition covers a number of integrity and ethical issues facing sports administrators including doping, sponsorship, alcohol, and corruption.

For those running sport, greed, misuse of power and financial malpractice appear all too common. Whether it be deliberate dishonest activity or financial incompetence, many sports have been tainted by the behaviour of those whose role is to promote and protect. (Scandal & Corruption Special Edition)


  • Corruption in Sport, Samantha Bricknell, Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 490, (February 2015).This paper prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology examined events and issues that have affected the integrity of Australian sport between 2009–13. The paper also proposed situational crime prevention techniques that may assist in framing and responding to corruption in Australian sport in the future.
  • Global Corruption Report: Sport, Transparency International, (February 2016). Sport is a global phenomenon engaging billions of people and generating annual revenues of more than US$145 billion. Problems in the governance of sports organisations, the fixing of matches and the staging of major sporting events have spurred action on many fronts. Attempts to stop corruption in sport, however, are still at an early stage.

In Australia, some of the key integrity and ethical issues facing sport include:

Child & Member Protection 

Sport Australia's (formerly the Australian Sports Commission's) Member Protection Policy template was originally developed in 2001 and is updated regularly. The template is designed to assist national sporting organisations to write their own sport-specific member protection policy and is one of several steps to address issues of harassment, discrimination, and child protection within organisations. Sports are encouraged to modify the template so that it reflects the needs and requirements of their organisation. 

Protecting children engaged in sport from abuse, exploitation, and any form of physical or psychological harm is a core issue for adults who administer and deliver sports programs. Like other institutions having a duty of care to children, sporting organisations are not immune to failures of policy, procedures and systems.

  • Child Safe Sport Toolkit, Australian Sports Commission, (2017). An online advisory toolkit to assist sporting organisations with policies and procedures related to child safe environments. 

More information about the legal and integrity requirements for sports organisations and participants can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport Child Protection in Sport topic. 

Drugs in Sport iconDrugs

The use of substances or methods that are prohibited and/or illegal, in a sporting context, has the potential to threaten personal health, fair play, and the integrity of sport. Every individual, whether they are an athlete, coach, administrator, or practitioner, is required to comply with anti-doping policies and procedures as a condition of their involvement in Australian and International sport.

  • Athletics doping: What happens if trust goes out of sport?BBC news, (9 November 2015). Perhaps the only real surprise in new Bond film Spectre is that the eponymous immoral organisation has not branched into sports administration. Sport matters because it has the potential to do what very little else in the world can: uniting communities, stirring the soul, strengthening the body, building bonds between disparate nations, offering individuals identity and an escape. But sport is not getting the governance it deserves. Governance is a dull word. So is administration. It is critical, and it is critical that it is done right, because otherwise we are all being cheated. 
More information about Drugs in Sport can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport

Ethical Sponsorship and Advertising in Sport iconEthical Sponsorship and Advertising 

The ethics of entering into a sponsorship agreement reflects the sporting organisation’s (or individual athlete's) values. However, ethical decisions may conflict with a need for financial support. The question may arise, "When does an association with a company or product diminish an organisation's or individual's image?"

  • Lessons from the removal of tobacco sponsorship from sport. FARE Australia,/YouTube (17 September 2017). A couple of decades back tobacco advertising was plastered across Australian sports events. Then a rugby league club President spoke out. David Hill led the North Sydney Bears, and wanted an end to tobacco sponsorship. He told Di Martin it’s a story of power, influence and bullying by an industry that controlled the way we thought about sport. Like the name of the rugby league competition.   

More information about Ethical Sponsorship and Advertising in Sport, and the specific topic of Alcohol Sponsorship and Advertising in Sport, can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport.

Match-Fixing and Illegal Sports Betting iconMatch-Fixing and Illegal Sports Betting

Match fixing and illegal sports’ betting is a very real threat to the integrity of Australian sport as attempts are made to exploit players, umpires and other officials to achieve various ends. Sports’ betting is a rapidly developing enterprise in Australia generating significant revenue streams and the practice now extends to most if not all sports with a public media profile.

A number of risk factors have been identified that increase the opportunity for corruption in Australian sport, these include:
  • the ‘closed environment’ in which athletes and sporting officials operate;         
  • differential responses to what is perceived as illegal;
  • negligible pay and lack of financial security, particularly among second and lower-tier player and officials;
  • the link between sport and making money;
  • the increased options available for betting and wagering (e.g. betting on defeats, specific plays) the ascendancy of online gambling.

More information about Match-Fixing and Illegal Sports Betting can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport

Sexuality and Gender Perspectives on Sports Ethics iconSexuality and Gender Perspectives on Sports Ethics

Unethical actions, decisions and attitudes in a sporting context are in direct conflict with the ideals of sport.  Ethical behaviour that is characterised by inclusion, fairness, and respect - regardless of someone’s known or assumed sexual identity and regardless of whether someone is either born or living as a male or female - is embedded in sporting values.

  • Sport must do more to fight homophobia, BBC sport, (13 February 2017). Sport is not doing enough to tackle homophobic abuse and authorities should issue lengthy bans to offenders, according to a report. The report, published by the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, wants sports authorities to adopt a zero-tolerance approach at all levels.
  • How do schools and governing bodies address homophobia in sport? UK Commons Select Committee, (8 November 2016). Culture, Media and Sport Committee hears from sportsmen and women as part of its inquiry into Homophobia in Sport.
The International Olympic Committee has proclaimed that:

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. International Olympic Committee

Principle 6 under the ‘Fundamental Principles of Olympism’ [source: Olympic Charter, p. 11] states:

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement. Olympic Charter

More information about Sexuality and Gender Perspectives on Sports Ethics can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport.

Sports Governance Principles and Resources iconSports Governance Principles and Resources

Governance is the system by which organisations are directed and managed. It influences how the objectives of the organisation are set and achieved, spells out the rules and procedures for making organisational decisions, and determines the means of optimising and monitoring performance, including how risk is monitored and assessed [source: Sports Governance Principles (PDF  - 303 KB), Australian Sports Commission, (March 2012)].

  • For the good of the game: Gideon Haigh on sports governance, Australian Institute of Company Directors, (8 February 2017). In a market more fickle than ever, sporting boards are under pressure to deliver growth, while maintaining the integrity of their game. Gideon Haigh, one of Australia’s pre-eminent writers on sport and business, talks about the unique governance challenges facing sporting organisations.
More information about Sports Governance Principles and Resources can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport
 
Rules are important for establishing integrity of competition in sport. They set out the fundamental elements of legitimate competition and fair play, and standards of behaviour required. Athletes, coaches, officials and administrators have a responsibility to understand the rules, including doping rules, sports betting integrity rules, and the codes of conduct/ethics required in their sport. However, when talking about rules, and to understand the role ethical behaviour plays in competitive sport, it is important to make a distinction between 'gamesmanship' and 'sportsmanship'.

'Gamesmanship' and 'sportsmanship' provide different ideas about what is acceptable and not-acceptable behaviour in a sport context. This then extends to how and why do individuals make decisions about how they may behave on and off the sporting arena.

'Gamesmanship' is built on the principle that winning is everything, and proponents will use dubious (although generally not illegal) methods to win at all costs. Athletes, coaches, and administrators are encouraged to bend the rules wherever possible in order to gain a competitive advantage over an opponent (individual or club), perhaps at the expense of the safety and welfare of individuals and the competition. 'Gamesmanship' places greater emphasis on the outcome of the game or competition than on the manner in which it is played.

  • Hot Spot can be fooled by bat tape, Nick Hoult, The Telegraph, (6 June 2016). Scientists have proved that silicone tape applied to bats can prevent Hot Spot technology picking up faint edges, giving batsmen a potential means of beating the system.
'Sportsmanship' demonstrates a more ethical approach, an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. Under a sportsmanship model, healthy competition is seen as a means of cultivating personal honour, virtue, and character. It contributes to a community of respect and trust between competitors and in society. The goal in sportsmanship is not simply to win, but to pursue victory with honour by giving one’s best effort.

Doping, match-fixing, and foul play are symptoms of a sporting system that has lost touch with sportsmanship, where the desire for fame and fortune replaces self-satisfaction as the driving motivator. 

Dreaming of winning – whether it be at an Olympics, on grand final day or on the local sports ground – is not the problem. Dreams give us the ‘why’ and get us out of bed in the morning. It is those dreams that keep us going when our bodies say ‘stop’. Sport would be meaningless if neither team cared whether they won or lost. The tension of competitors vying to be the best is what makes sport exciting and meaningful. Trying to win and training to win is vitally important. But aspiring to win is vastly different from winning at all costs. Kim Crowe [Olympic Gold medallist - rowing], Spirit of Sport, Sydney Morning Herald, (8 December 2013) 


Ethics is a system of moral behaviour that ensures a level of integrity or good character is maintained – it helps us see and differentiate right from wrong and good from bad in sport. For example, we know that a person that handballs a goal in football, and tries to get away with it, is breaking the rules. They break the ethical code of football by being disingenuous of the rules of the game. Their integrity is bought into question through their actions. In this sense ‘ethics’ are the overarching systems and concepts that dictate integrity.

Ethical dilemmas arise when you have to choose between two things you believe are right and good, or where you need to make a choice between two things you don’t prefer at all (because there is no better option available). The classic ethical dilemmas involve choosing between truth and loyalty, individuals and community, short and long-term outcomes, or between justice and mercy.

Ethical decision making is a process that involves building awareness of ‘ethical content’ such as values, principles and beliefs about your defining purpose and an understanding of your own morals. It is also something that involves reflection, self-management, judgement and action.

  • Resolving contemporary ethical issues in sportPlay By The Rules. This webinar explored contemporary ethical issues in sport using the ethical decision making framework. Our panellists on the webinar were former Play by the Rules Manager, Paul Oliver from Oliver and Thompson Consultancy, Bronwyn Fagan, Director of Legal Services at the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and John Armstrong, CEO of Pedal Power. (Download the Ethical Decision Making Framework).
  • Moral dilemmas in sport – What would you do? ASADA, (20 December 2017). As the ball comes down the pitch, you swing, the ball flies in the air, is caught, and immediately the opposition erupts in appeal. You think you’re out, but the umpire disagrees. Would you walk? To answer the question, the module asks athletes to determine what their values are in sport, and encourages them to make the decision based on those beliefs and principles. Importantly, it highlights that there is no right or wrong answer. 

Case Study: Australian cricket team ball tampering (2018)

On 24 March 2018 Australian player Cameron Bancroft was charged by match referees with ball tampering (trying to alter the condition of the ball for perceived performance benefit). Bancroft had attempted to use a sticky piece of yellow tape with pieces of pitch and dirt on it to rough up the ball in order to help generate reverse swing. After the match the Australian team captain, Steve Smith, admitted that the plan to tamper with the ball had been devised by senior players during the lunch break.

While not unique—there have been several high profile cases of ball tampering in cricket [source: Ball tampering, Wikipedia, (accessed 26 March 2018)]—the incident demonstrated a failure in integrity and ethical decision making processes.

Smith was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for one test and fined his entire match fee. Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and issued three demerit points. Additionally, Cricket Australia stood down Steve Smith and David Warner (vice-captain) from their leadership roles within the team, initially for the test match. After further investigation the three players were charged with breaching the CA Code of Conduct for actions contrary to the spirit of the game and for bringing the game into disrepute. Smith and Warner were banned from all domestic and international cricket for 12 months, with Bancroft receiving a 9 month ban. Additionally, Smith and Bancroft will not be considered for leadership positions for a further 12 months, while Warner will not be considered for future team leadership positions in the future. 

While some commentators have argued that the issue was simply a minor lapse in judgement, the general reaction from players, fans, sponsors, Australian & international media, Cricket Australia, Sport Australia (formerly the Australian Sports Commission), Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie, and even the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull clearly showed that Australian's have strong opinions about the importance of integrity. It also demonstrated the impact that a lack of integrity can have, not only on individual players, but on the sport, and potentially Australia's reputation more broadly. 

Further fall out from this incident included:  

  • Smith & Warner were banned from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next season. They had both previously been contracted as Captains for different teams. 
  • All three players lost sponsorship from various companies. 
  • At least one sponsor withdrew from sponsoring Cricket Australia. 
  • Some commentators, both in Australia and overseas, suggested that this episode also had an impact on Australia's broader international reputation.  


Sporting organisations in Australia have become more proactive in developing policies and procedures to manage integrity issues and to ensure more enjoyable participation outcomes for everyone.

Over the years, a number of government program initiatives have been implemented that either directly or indirectly refer to the behaviour of participants. References to ‘behaviour’ are made in two ways:

  • the desired (or undesired) behaviour among participants; and
  • the behavioural outcomes as a consequence of participation in sport and active recreation programs.
Behaviour guidelines and more recently codes of conduct have generally evolved to support best 'practice behaviour' during participation and behavioural outcomes as a consequence of said participation.

Behavioural ‘outcomes’ associated with sports participation are often seen as a positive aspect of sports participation. These outcomes can often be demonstrated by evidence and research that can show how sport utilised in the right policy settings and in conjunction with other targeted programs can influence areas such as social inclusion, cultural understanding, reduction in anti-social behaviour, educational attainments, and improvements in health.

National Perspective 

Since the inception of the Sport Ethics Unit within Sport Australia (formerly the Australian Sports Commission) in 2002 there have been a number of Australian government and sport program initiatives that have been developed to assist in maintaining the inclusiveness and integrity of sport at all levels.

The Essence of Australian Sport (PDF  - 181 KB) was introduced in 2007 as an over-arching statement that defined the core principles of sport in Australia – Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Safety. It was written in consultation with the sport industry, to provide a statement on what sport in Australia stands for and to educate people on the positive aspects, value, and benefits of sport, and reinforce that everyone has a role to play in promoting and displaying good sportsmanship and fair-play values.

The ASC assisted state/territory departments of sport and recreation agencies and sporting organisations, through its programs and resources, to adopt and implement this initiative into their strategic planning, program development, processes, and policies.

In 2010, the ASC commissioned research conducted by Colmar Brunton Social Research to identify the most prevalent and serious ethical and integrity issues in Australian sport, surveying over 3,700 players, coaches, officials and administrators across national, state and local sport levels. The resulting report 'Ethical and Integrity Issues in Australian Sport Survey' (PDF  - 1.2 MB) found a range of integrity issues facing Australian sport. The priority issues around ethics and integrity within Australian sport were identified as going beyond the spirit of the game, verbal abuse, and athletes being pushed too hard by coaches and parents.

The 'Integrity in Sport Literature Review(PDF  - 1.2 MB), Australian Sports Commission, (2011), found that integrity in sport issues that were well covered by programs and services included: safety, disability, behavioural issues, indigenous participation, CaLD groups, youth and discrimination. The review concluded that most programs can identify the benefits that relate to their initial purpose, but not all can be directly quantified, although much of the impact is seen as an improvement in the general 'culture' of the sport and/or activity.

The Australian Government believes that integrity arrangements are paramount to the effective performance of any sporting organisation. The ASC, with its partners the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU), supports Australian sporting organisations having appropriate governance and integrity frameworks in place to deal with a range of integrity threats including doping, illicit drug use, match fixing and other ethical and integrity issues. The components of an effective integrity framework should include:

  • anti-doping policies and education initiatives
  • illicit drugs policies and education initiatives
  • match-fixing policies and education initiatives
  • sports science sports medicine (SSSM) principles, and
  • member protection (specifically complaint handling and child protection measures)
The ASC, ASADA and NISU assist sporting organisations to deal with a range of integrity threats and all have resources available, including template policies, codes of conduct and education programs, to assist sporting organisations strengthen their integrity frameworks. 

The following section highlights the roles of the various players in the Australian sporting landscape in this area and the different contributions they make.

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA)

Enforcing anti-doping rules has, and remains, a significant challenge. The purpose of anti-doping rules, as stated in the World Anti-Doping Code, is to protect the athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport.

The World Anti-Doping Code is the core document that harmonises anti-doping policies, rules and regulations around the world. The Code influences the approach taken by Olympic sports, many professional sports, governments and other authorities such as International Olympic Committee.

National Sporting Organisations work closely with the ASADA in Australia and the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) internationally to encourage and promote competition free from prohibited substances and methods and to prevent doping practices in sport.

In 2016, a suite of Lesson Plans/Guides on integrity and anti-doping in sport topics were developed by ASADA and the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU). They are intended to provide teachers and schools with a singular set of information, resources and activities to develop greater knowledge and awareness of anti-doping, match-fixing, illicit drugs and ethical decision making in sport.

ASADA also developed Ethical Decision Making in Sport for doping resources and developed an Ethical Decision Making e-course (30 minutes) as part of its award-winning e-learning platform.

The ‘Illicit Drugs in Sport’ (IDIS) Online Education Program is an Australian Government initiative to assist Australian sporting organisations to educate their members of the harms associated with illicit drugs. The IDIS program seeks to provide practical tools and strategies to assist athletes, coaches and sports administrators to make appropriate choices when faced with illicit drug issues in their sport through a range of courses 

 
 National integrity of Sport Unit logo

The National Integrity of Sport Unit

The Australian Government established the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) in 2011 to provide national oversight, monitoring, and coordination of efforts to protect the integrity of sport in Australia from threats of doping, match-fixing, and other forms of corruption. The unit coordinates legislation, regulation, policies, and administrative practices between the Commonwealth/states to allow governments to adopt measures to ensure sport is corruption-free.

At the 2013 Australian Sport and Recreation Ministers’ meeting, Ministers endorsed the expanded role of the NISU to include more proactive integrity threat identification, assessment, and advisory services for sport, and the establishment of the Australian Sports Integrity Network (ASIN) to become the primary vehicle through which sporting organisations can discuss and coordinate responses to sport integrity issues. The unit’s role has also included assisting NSOs to set up integrity units and frameworks, and developing education and training.

  • National Policy on Match-fixing in Sport. On 10 June 2011, all Australian sports ministers endorsed on behalf of their governments, a National Policy on Match-fixing in Sport with the aim of protecting the integrity of Australian sport. 
  • National Anti-Doping Framework. On 1 October 2015 all Australian sports ministers endorsed on behalf of their governments, an updated National Anti-Doping Framework with the aim of aligning domestic anti-doping efforts in Australia through a set of agreed principles, alongside clearly identified areas for cooperation between all Australian governments.
  • Australian Government response - Practice of Sports Science in Australia. On 16 May 2013, the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee commenced an inquiry into the practice of sports science in Australia. Consistent with the recommendations of the Committee, the Government has waited until the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation into anti doping rule violations in Australia’s major professional sports had substantively concluded before tabling its response to the Inquiry. The Government Response to the Senate Inquiry into the Practice of Sport Science was tabled in the Parliament on 30 November 2016.
  • Sports Integrity E-Book (PDF  - 4.9 MB), (2017). The Sports Integrity e-book was prepared by National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) following on from the 2017 Integrity Roadshow. It provides information about  a range of integrity issues, tips for sports and individuals, and a comprehensive list of resources available including courses and education options.


 
 Sport Australia logo

Sport Australia

Sport Australia (formerly the Australian Sports Commission) aims to build the capacity and capability of sport to provide safe, fair, and inclusive sporting environments for the sector. They plays a lead role in assisting NSO's to formulate policies, practices, programs, and resources to address integrity issues and enhance ethical conduct in Australian sport. This is achieved via:

  • working closely with NSOs, state/territory departments of sport and recreation and other agencies to develop strategies to deal with sport-specific issues related to harassment; discrimination; sexual assault; child protection; inappropriate parent, coach, spectator and athlete behaviour; and other issues.
  • working with the sector to continue to develop Play by the Rules as a one stop shop for information, resources, education and awareness campaigns for community sport in relation to integrity and inclusiveness.
  • engaging in projects that require a national approach and have national significance.
In 2016, Sport Australia ran Integrity in Sport/Ethical Decision Making forums in each state and territory, featuring speakers from ASADA, NISU, University of Sunshine Coast, and Paul Oliver, which were attended by a range of SSOs, government organisations and NGOs. They have also developed Ethical Decision Making in Sport train-the-trainer resources for NSOs to utilise.

Chairman John Wylie, wrote to national associations and professional clubs across the country in 2016 recommending board directors to follow new integrity guidelines to help insulate their organisations from the growing risks of match-fixing and doping. 

Sport Australia has also developed a Member Protection Policy template designed to assist sporting organisations to write their own sport-specific policy to reduce and deal effectively with complaints of harassment, discrimination, child protection, and safety. The template provides a general framework of:
  • Key policy position statements (on issues such as anti-harassment, discrimination, racism etc.).
  • Organisational and individual responsibilities.
  • Codes of conduct that are relevant to all state/territory member associations, clubs and individuals (including race, religion, inclusion, gender, disability).
  • Guidelines on state/territory child protection legislative requirements.
  • Processes such as complaint handling, tribunals and investigations. 

Sport Australia also provides a broad range of support to sporting organisations, including resources for community programs, on-line training, complaint-handling resources, ethical decision making training, and targeted research. 

 Play by the Rules logo

Play by the Rules

Play by the Rules is a national program, which provides online information and resources, education courses, and campaigns to help make sport safe, fair, and inclusive. Its mission is to build the capacity and capability of sport and recreational clubs/associations to prevent and deal with discrimination, harassment, and child safety issues in sport.

The ASC, state/territory sport and recreation departments, along with state/territory equal opportunity agencies, the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA) and the New South Wales (NSW) Commission for Children and Young People are partner agencies to Play by the Rules and help to promote the program, its resources and training through their networks along with their own anti-discrimination and inclusion programs.

Play by the Rules has developed educational and training opportunities relating to a broad range of issues and roles in sport, including on-line and face-to-face courses that address child protection, harassment, discrimination, and member protection. It has a range of procedures and processes available for managing and dealing with complaints and grievances about discrimination, harassment, child protection issues, and other breaches of their sport’s policies, rules, or Code of Behaviour.

In 2016, Play by the Rules held a forum and then a webinar that explored contemporary ethical issues in sport using an ethical decision making framework. Panelists on the webinar were former Play by the Rules Manager, Paul Oliver from Oliver and Thompson Consultancy, Bronwyn Fagan, Director of Legal Services at the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and John Armstrong, CEO of Pedal Power. 

Play by the Rules have also developed an Ethical Decision Making in Sport workshop manual and presentation template which can be used by national or state sporting organisations, clubs, or other organisations to develop and run their own training on this topic.    

National Sporting Organisations (NSOs)

All recognised NSOs are required to have member protection policies and codes of conduct in place as part of their Sport Australia recognition and funding agreements, which are disseminated to state/territory and regional sporting associations, and community clubs. These policies reaffirm the sporting bodies’ commitment to eliminating discrimination, harassment, child abuse, and other forms of inappropriate behaviour from their sport and ensuring that everyone is aware of their legal and ethical rights and responsibilities.

All levels, from national to grassroots sport, are also required to place emphasis on good governance and to protect the integrity of sport against drugs, doping, and match-fixing. Many sports have set up integrity units and frameworks, and have developing relevant education and training.

Australian sports have generally developed Illicit Drugs Policies, Anti-Doping Policies and Supplements Policies, and anti-drugs and doping programs. Athletes, coaches and support staff are required to be aware of and comply with all anti-doping policies and the rules associated with the WADA code, and ensure that they are up-to-date with the most recent prohibited lists both here in Australia and around the world.

National sporting organisations are also expected to adopt an anti-match-fixing policy/anti-corruption code of conduct. The policy provides a sports betting model that promotes transparency and control by sports, and reduces opportunity for corruption.

A range of national sporting organisations including Athletics Australia, the Australian Paralympic Committee and Surf Life Saving Australia have had presentations on integrity issues and had Ethical Decision Making in Sport train-the-trainer resources developed by Oliver and Thompson Consultancy.


  • St James Ethics Centre. Multiple articles and interviews relating to sport ethics can be accessed within this website.
  • The Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA). A not-for-profit sports law organisation in the Australasian region, and is dedicated to providing networking opportunities, advocacy and education about legal issues in sport. Annual conference topics relate to ethics in sport including match-fixing, cheating and doping.
  • Victoria University. Master of Sport Business and Integrity. This course addresses the pressures that contemporary sport managers face when having to deal with their core obligations, which are implementing and delivering financially and operationally sustainable sport programs that lead to socially responsible outcomes, while ensuring they hold the values of trust, fair play, transparency, and integrity.

Global

  • Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). A not-for-profit association, composed of autonomous and independent international sports federations and other international organisations contributing to sport in various fields. 
    • The GAISF Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) actively promotes doping-free sport within the sports movement and brings its expertise to Members by providing assistance and services. The DFSU supports Members in managing anti-doping programmes that are fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Its main objective is to assist its members in fighting against doping as effectively and efficiently as possible, including taking into account the specificity of each sport in terms of organisation, doping risks and available resources. GAISF is a Signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code as a Major Events Organisation
  • The International Centre for Sport Security - has established a specialist Sport Integrity Directorate staffed with industry-leading experts so that the ICSS can provide valued integrity support to all sports.
  • Play the Game - is an international conference and communication initiative aiming to strengthen the ethical foundation of sport and promote democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport. It is run by the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan), an independent institution set up by the Danish Ministry of Culture. The task of Idan is to create overview and insight into the field of sport nationally and internationally.

  • Sport Integrity Global Alliance. In November 2015, 20 organisations came together to create an informal coalition to lead an international private-public partnership to tackle the numerous and urgent governance challenges facing sport. The group included sports bodies, governments, anti-corruption NGOs, inter-governmental organisations, and commercial partners. By January 2018 the informal gathering has grown to more than 80 supporting organisations. Today SIGA is a worldwide, independent, neutral coalition, legally incorporated under Swiss law as a non-for-profit association, led by the sports industry and supported by key stakeholders.
  • Transparency International – preserving Integrity in sport. - Transparency International brings 20 years of experience in anti-corruption to support work in all these areas. Transparency International will also be publishing its Global Corruption Report on Corruption in Sport in 2014. It has previously published reports into cricket and football.

International Olympic Committee 

  • Athletes' Rights & Responsibilities Declaration, IOC Athlete's Commission, (2018). The Athletes' Declaration is a historic athlete-driven initiative, developed by athletes and for athletes through a worldwide consultation process. Led by a 20-strong athlete representative Steering Committee, it has been shaped by 4,292 elite athletes from 190 countries and more than 120 sports disciplines. Its overarching goal is to further support athletes — no matter their sport, age, gender or nationality, by outlining a common set of aspirational rights and responsibilities for athletes within the Olympic Movement. It covers topics such as anti-doping, integrity, clean sport, career, communications, governance, discrimination, due process and protection from harassment and abuse.
  • IOC Code of Ethics 2016International Olympic Committee, (2016). Includes the IOC Code of Ethics and all its implementing provisions, including the Rules of Conduct for the Candidature Process Olympic Games 2024, the Rules Concerning Conflicts of Interests, the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement, the new Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions, the statutes of the Ethics Commission and its Rules of Procedure.
  • Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (PDF  - 89 KB). International Olympic Committee, (2016). The purpose of this Code is to provide all Sports Organisations and their members with harmonised regulations to protect all competitions from the risk of manipulation. This Code establishes regulations that are in compliance with Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions IOC Code of Ethics and other texts 2016 the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, in particular Article 7. This does not prevent Sports Organisations from having more stringent regulations in place. 
  • IOC Consensus Statement: harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport, Margo Mountjoy et. al., British Journal of Sports Medicine, (April 2016). Despite the well-recognised benefits of sport, there are also negative influences on athlete health, well-being and integrity caused by non-accidental violence through harassment and abuse. All athletes have a right to engage in ‘safe sport’, defined as an athletic environment that is respectful, equitable and free from all forms of non-accidental violence to athletes. Yet, these issues represent a blind spot for many sport organisations through fear of reputational damage, ignorance, silence or collusion. This Consensus Statement extends the 2007 IOC Consensus Statement on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport, presenting additional evidence of several other types of harassment and abuse—psychological, physical and neglect. 
  • Olympic Values Education Programme, IOC, (October 2016). The OVEP Toolkit is a set of free resources designed to enrich any educational curriculum with Olympic-themed activities, teaching strategies and inspirational materials. It can be put into action by teachers and instructors, coaches and sports clubs, governments and educational authorities, members of the Olympic Family, and even parents at home.

Canada 

  • Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) - the CCES serves to elevate the conscience of sport in Canada. The CCES operates at the intersection of individual values, the shared values of society and the values of sport. It also serves as a strong voice in the dialogue regarding ethics in Canadian sport and through three strategic avenues it activates, advocates and protects within the sporting domain.

Europe

  • The European Fair Play Movement - the main aim of the European Fair Play Movement (EFPM) is to promote Fair Play and Tolerance in the broadest sense (in sports and everyday life) at European level. The EFPM seeks to achieve this goal by supporting its members, by helping to promote Fair Play campaigns where sports organisations take the initiative, by cooperating with the authorities to foster Fair Play themes and by facilitating regular contacts between the various European sports organisations.

Japan

  • Sport Integrity Unit. Based on the revision of Act on the Japan Sport Council in 2013, the JSC takes responsibility in “ensuring fair and proper implementation of sporting activities”. The Sport Integrity Unit, launched in April 2014, acts in the areas of fight against doping, harassment and match manipulation in sport, and promotion of good governance in Japanese sports organisations. 

New Zealand

  • New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-fixing and Related Corruption, Sport New Zealand, (April 2014)
  • Sport Integrity Framework: Supporting diversitySport New Zealand, (June 2017). Every Kiwi has the right to participate in sport and recreation within a welcoming and inclusive environment, and to be treated with respect, empathy and positive regard irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or socio-economic status. 
  • Sport Integrity Framework: CorruptionSport New Zealand, (June 2017). Corruption has no place in New Zealand society and playing fair off the sports field is just as important as playing fair on it. Corruption in any form has the potential to affect the integrity, growth and development of New Zealand sport. 
  • Sport Integrity Framework: Player WelfareSport New Zealand, (June 2017). Ensuring the welfare of players both on and off the field, and at all levels of sport, is a critical element in the provision of sport. 
  • New Zealand government agency to launch inquiry into integrity in sport, Michael Burgess, NZ Herald, (7 December 2017). Sport New Zealand is considering a review into sport integrity, as concerns over doping, match-fixing, corruption and other issues grow. The Crown Entity, which is responsible for the leadership of the sport and recreation sector, confirmed its focus on the area in ministerial briefing papers for the new Labour government.

United Kingdom

  • A Code for Sports Governance, UK Sport, (2017). Organisations seeking public funding for sport and physical activity must meet new gold standards of governance. The Code has three tiers and will apply to any organisation seeking funding from Sport England or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities. The Code is proportionate, expecting the highest standards of good governance from organisations requesting the largest public investments, including:
    • Increased skills and diversity in decision making, with a target of at least 30 per cent gender diversity on boards
    • Greater transparency, for example publishing more information on the structure, strategy and financial position of the organisation.
    • Constitutional arrangements that give boards the prime role in decision making.
  • UK Sports Integrity Index 2017: measuring the perceived level of integrity of the top 12 professional sports in the UK, Portland, (2017). This inaugural report seeks to understand which UK sports are the most and the least trusted; what issues underpin this lack of faith; and how likely integrity-related issues are to make consumers stop watching certain sports. Some key findings include: 
    • Darts was perceived to have the highest integrity, and least likely to have issues with doping or scandals. Football was perceived to have the lowest, overall, level of integrity and highest likelihood of financial corruption, cover-ups, and scandals, with additional lack of trust on issues of doping and match-fixing. 
    • Match-fixing was the issue most likely to reduce viewing figures; with horseracing, football, boxing, and athletics considered the most likely to be implicated. Doping, financial corruption, and cover-ups and scandals were next in the list of things likely to affect viewing figures/intentions.  
    • Older age groups and women were more likely to stop watching a sport due to integrity issues.  
  • Sports Betting Integrity Unit (SBIU). The UK Gambling Commission has a specific unit dedicated to dealing with suspected cases of sports betting integrity. SBIU receives reports and develops intelligence about potentially corrupt betting activity from a range of sources including bookmakers, sports governing bodies, law enforcement, the public and the media.
    • Betting integrity policy position paper (PDF  - 80 KB), UK Gambling Commission, (October 2013). This document summarises the Commission’s policy and approach to protecting betting integrity, which is primarily concerned with sports betting. However it also covers betting on non-sporting events; for example the winners of film awards. Accordingly this paper is titled Protecting Betting Integrity. 
    • Misuse of inside information: policy position paper (PDF  - 152 KB), UK Gambling Commission, (March 2014). This document sets out the Commission’s approach to dealing with potential incidents of misuse of inside information in betting. It also covers what is expected from SGBs and betting operators in relation to protecting sport and betting from the misuse of inside information. This includes a broad outline of the trigger points where we would expect organisations to inform the Commission of a potential incident.
    • Betting integrity decision making framework (PDF  - 224 KB), UK Gambling Commission, (August 2017). This document is aimed at those bodies the Commission might work with in respect of betting integrity. It sets out the Commission’s processes and decision making framework in the context of betting integrity, from when it first receives a piece of information through to when a case is closed. This framework has been refined following the development of the Sport Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU). 


Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.

ReadingReading

  • Corruption and sport, Transparency International, (September 2015).
  • Corruption in Australian SportAustralian Institute of Criminology, No. 490, (February 2015).
  • Creating a values-based sport system in Canada, Alison Jones & Michael McLeneghen, SIRCuit, (22 January 2019). The purpose of this article is to move towards a shared understanding of values-based sport across Canada’s sport sector. It also offers practical first steps to give coaches and leaders the confidence and knowledge to start placing positive values at the core of their programs, or build upon their current practices.
  • Football Victoria launches "Respect the Game" campaign, Football Victoria, (1 March 2019). Football Victoria has created the Respect The Game campaign to bring awareness of the issues we all need to work on to keep our game strong, providing a safe, enjoyable environment that protects participants, match officials, club administrators, volunteers and spectators. At the Club Development Conference in February 2019, we asked all clubs to sign a pledge to Respect The Game: We will call out behaviour that undermines this pledge and drive a culture of respect within our football community. We will not tolerate abuse in our game, directed towards referees, players, coaches, spectators, officials or volunteers.
  • The Global Alliance For Integrity In Sports (PDF - 315 KB) - the idea of developing the Global Alliance was initially put forward by Russia at the Third Annual High-Level Anti-Corruption Conference for G20 Governments and Business held in April 2013 in Paris. The Global Alliance initiative was further discussed by the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and finally was supported by the G20 Leaders. In the St. Petersburg Declaration the Leaders "commended the efforts to fight corruption in organization of sporting, cultural and other major international events and welcomed the initiative to develop a Global Alliance for Integrity in Sports".
  • Mandatory Sports Governance Principles, Australian Sports Commission, (2015). As of 2016/17, 23 Australian NSOs were required to meet these mandatory principles. 
  • Sports Governance Principles, Australian Sports Commission, (2012). 
  • Protecting Children from Violence in Sport, UNICEF has long recognised that there is great value in children’s sport and play, and has been a consistent proponent of these activities in its international development and child protection work.
  • UNESCO Preserving Sporting Values and Ethics, Thomas H. Murray, UNESCO, (2010).
  • What role does ethics play in sport? Kirk O. Hanson and Matt Savage, Santa Clara University,(August 2012).

Research iconResearch

  • Corruption in sport: understanding the complexity of corruption, Lisa A. Kihl, James Skinner & Terry Engelberg, European Sport Management Quarterly, Volume 17(1), pp.1-5, (2017). The papers within this joint special issue contribute to our academic understanding of the complexity and multidimensional nature of corruption. Doping, organized crime, ticket scalping, hazing, fraud, homeland security issues, post-corruption organizational impact, intellectual property issues, money laundering, bribery of officials, corrupt organizational cultures, and the growth and influence of the gambling industry on sport all require robust academic investigation. As the sport sector continues to globalise, and the economic and social consequences of corruption become more pronounced, a failure to address corruption in sport may lead to a growing cynicism about the place of sport in society.
  • Ethics, Integrity and Well-Being in Elite Sport: A Systematic Review, Deborah Agnew, Philippa Henderson and Carl Woods, The Sport Journal, Volume 19, (2017). The purpose of this paper was to conduct a systematic review on integrity, ethics and well-being in elite level sport. The concept of sportspersonship extends beyond the rules of sport and is strongly linked to the character of athletes. Sports environments are a key factor in the well-being of athletes and contribute to the expectations placed on athletes, particularly with regard to winning. Ethics, integrity, sportspersonship and well-being are interrelated concepts in elite sport. Expectations placed on athletes may be unrealistic and may have negative consequences on well-being. It is important to understand the factors contributing to athlete well-being in order to develop strategies to minimize the adversities faced by athletes.
  • Integrity and the corruption debate in sport: where is the integrity? Simon Gardiner, Jim Parry, & Simon Robinson, European Sport Management Quarterly, Volume 17(1), pp.6-23, (2017). The paper is based on the contention that ‘integrity’ is a significantly under-theorised and under-conceptualised value within sports particularly in its use by a range of organisations fighting corruption in sport, which constitute what can be termed the ‘sports integrity industry’. The ‘sports integrity industry’ reveals: different narratives about integrity amongst the different groups; a lack of integration between the different views of integrity in sport; and the danger of imposing a corporate model of (behavioural-based) integrity.
  • "Match-Fixing – The Biggest Threat to Sport in the 21st Century?”. Carpenter, K International Sport Law Review. Issue 2, (2012). This article looks at all aspects of match-fixing in an attempt to highlight and question why it is given far less column inches and coverage than other threats to the integrity of sport, particularly doping, when it may be the biggest threat of the 21st century. 
  • “Match-Fixing: Working Toward an Ethical Framework”Harvey, A. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport(May 2015). How does match-fixing, or other unfair manipulation of matches, that involves under-performance by players, or refereeing and umpiring that prevents fair competition, be thought of in ethical terms? This article outlines the different forms that match-fixing can take and seek to comprehend these disparate scenarios. It tentatively suggest that, by developing an ethical opposition to match-fixing in sport, we can give much greater substance to popular phrases such as ‘respect for the game’, encompassing the value of sport itself and respect for other players, fans, sponsors and organisers. Arguing that match-fixing denies recognition to these ‘others’ demonstrates how fundamentally match-fixing ‘hollows out’ sport because a fixed match is of no worth: the whole value of the game has literally been evacuated.
  • On Sporting Integrity, Alfred Archer, Sport, Ethics & Philosophy, Volume 10(2), pp.117-131, (2016). It has become increasingly popular for sports fans, pundits, coaches and players to appeal to ideas of ‘sporting integrity’ when voicing their approval or disapproval of some aspect of the sporting world. The goal of this paper is to examine whether there is any way to understand this idea in a way that both makes sense of the way in which it is used and presents a distinctly ‘sporting’ form of integrity
  • Protection of children in competitive sport, Weber, Romana, , International Review for the Sociology of Sport (March 2009). This article explores how children engaged in elite sport may suffer from health problems, lack of education and limited or no free time. Furthermore, it considers the ways through which they may be exploited by their training and competing environments and how their right to freedom of association is often limited. Adopting a human rights approach, this contribution seeks to examine national as well as international measures to protect child athletes. An analysis of existing regulation identifies shortcomings and is followed by suggestions on how to improve child protection in elite sport.
  • ‘Sports Integrity’ Needs Sports Ethics (And Sports Philosophers And Sports Ethicists Too), Lea Cleret, Mike McNamee & Stuart Page, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Volume 9(1), pp.1-5, (2015). While the future of sports rests on the development of appropriate and effective measures against the threats to sports integrity, it may too be the case the professions of sports philosophy and sports ethics are strongly tied to development of this agenda.
  • Violence against women and sport: a literature review (PDF  - 368 KB), Dr Catherine Palmer, Durham University, (2010). In December 2010, the Trust for London funded Dr Catherine Palmer from the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University to conduct a review of literature that could provide an evidence base for the connections between violence against women and sport. The literature review revealed that sport-related violence against women can take many forms, from violence committed by male athletes through to violence facilitated by sporting events, as well as violence perpetrated by coaches of female athletes. Each is discussed in turn.

resources iconResources

  • ASADA elearning, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. ASADA provides a variety of courses relating to integrity topics and aimed at athletes, coaches, medical practitioners/medical support personnel, school teachers and students, and anyone else who is interested in ethics in sport. Although there is a strong focus on anti-doping there are also more general courses/information relating to ethical decision making in sport. 
  • Competing with Integrity online course, IOC Athlete Learning Gateway
  • Fair Play Code: a code of conduct for sport and recreation in VictoriaGovernment of Victoria, Sport & Recreation Victoria, [April 2018]. The Fair Play Code outlines the standards of behaviour expected for everyone involved in sport and recreation in Victoria. It also features new  guidance on the responsibilities of those involved in sport and recreation (including spectators), dealing with potential breaches and where to seek further information. Victoria’s sporting associations are required to adhere to and enforce the new Fair Play Code to receive funding from Sport and Recreation Victoria from 1 July 2018.
  • Victorian integrity in sport action planState of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services, [May 2017]. A new Victorian integrity in sport action plan addresses risks and sets out clear strategies to maintain integrity in the state and community sports sector.
  • Integrity in Sport Resources. Sport and Recreation Victoria. Resources include: Safeguarding children; Sport integrity readiness kit; Anti-doping; Illicit substances; Match-fixing; and the Victorian Integrity in Sport Action Plan (2016). 
  • Keeping Sport Honest online course - this e-learning program is designed to help understand what match-fixing is, it's consequences, how to recognise it and report it. (NISU)
  • LawInSport website. A leading online international sports law publication providing expert commentary and analysis on the latest issues and legal developments.
  • The Australian Model for defending sports integrity. A speech by the NISU’s Greg Morris in Helsinki, Finland (2014).
  • True Sport, Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries, (2018). True Sport is an advocacy campaign that supports local sporting clubs and associations to promote eight values that represent the benefits of sport and recreation to our whole community. The eight values are: Play fair; Give back; Have fun; Include all; Be healthy; Be safe; Show respect; and Bring your best. By embracing these values, teams, clubs, participants and officials can work together to create fun, fair and safe environments for one and all to participate in sporting activities.
  • Hockey Australia National Integrity Framework, Hockey Australia, (4 March 2019). Hockey Australia has worked closely with relevant Government bodies, including NISU, ASADA, and Sport Australia, in developing the National Integrity Framework, and will continue to work closely with these bodies through its delivery. The implementation of the National Integrity Framework will see a multi-faceted approach to strengthening integrity arrangements through: 1.Enhanced integrity policies; 2.Education; 3.Detection and enforcement; and 4.Oversight and reporting. 

Website iconWebinar

  • Resolving contemporary ethical issues in sport. This webinar explored contemporary ethical issues in sport using the ethical decision making framework. Our panelists on the webinar were former Play by the Rules Manager, Paul Oliver from Oliver and Thompson Consultancy, Bronwyn Fagan, Director of Legal Services at the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and John Armstrong, CEO of Pedal Power. (Download the Ethical Decision Making Framework) Play By The Rules. 

Video iconClearinghouse Videos 

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