Corruption in Sports

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Corruption in sports has often been big news.  Whether related to match-fixing in soccer, involving referees, goalies or other players — be them in Italy, Germany, Kenya, Brazil, China, or elsewhere —, or in cricket, or in other sports.  Or buying the votes of some members of the International Olympics Committee (IOC), so to give the award to the the briber’s city.  Or judges making backroom deals in figure skating.  While such cases of corruption have taken place, it is not clear that it is a systemic scourge in most sports.  It is misleading to generalize and taint all in sports by association.  There are many institutions, athletes, soccer and other sports clubs that operate with integrity, promoting positive societal values and providing good role models to the younger generation.  At the same time, we need to be mindful of the reply by a famous bank robber, who answered the question of why he robs banks by stating simply ’that is where the money is’.  Some professional sports entities are also a huge commercial enterprise.  Likewise with some college sports programs in the US, where financial considerations rule.  In these lucrative sports settings, the rate of temptation is high… Thus, some instititutions and individuals in sports are bound to be vulnerable to corruption, and therefore vigilance is in order, with emphasis on integrity in leadership in the main sports institutions, as well as emphasis in deterrence and detection sytems, including the watchful eye of the media.  Some movies may also help in raising awareness and instilling good values.  However contrived its plot, this weekend’s movie debut of the special effects remake of the old animated Speed Racer may be an example, since in the words of a blogger, ‘corruption is pretty good as a driver for action movies’... But it is important to look beyond the sensationalistic.  Corruption cases involving players or referees, while coveted by the media, are likely to entail an invidualized scandal,...
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