Cheating in sports sadly occurs from time to time in virtually every sport and every level of competition. The drive to win at any price or cost stems from a lack of morals within a particular individual and a sports culture which places an over emphasis on winning above playing fairly and by the rules.
To some degree, cheating in sports mirrors the larger attitude of society which elevates athletes to the hero level and at times extols the virtue of the robber if he/she is clever enough to get away with it.
Cheating in sports takes many forms. In a tennis match, it might be a player calling a ball out that he knows was in. In football, it might be holding a players helmet or shirt to slow them down. In other instances, it might mean taking a “banned” substance to become stronger or perform faster.
The most recent scandal surrounding cheating in sports involved one of the world’s greatest endurance athlete’s of all time, Lance Armstrong. Armstrong, winner of seven Olympic Gold medals in bicycling, was stripped of all of them after it was found that he had be using illegal substances to improve his performance.
Sadly, when athletic heroes are cheating in sports, it sends a message to the hundreds of thousands of young athlete’s that this is what is expected of you if you want to become great in your sport. This results in a new generation of “cheaters” and the cycle is perpetuated.
Let’s hope that parents, teachers and coaches will teach ethical behavior and moral development and that sports officials will enforce rules for cheating with immediate and significant penalties. In these ways, cheating in sports will hopefully be kept to a minimum and even have a positive impact on the larger society in general.