Ethical concerns in sport: When the will to win exceed the spirit of sport

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific reviewpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Background: The need to advance and achieve success is deeply ingrained in human evolution. As a species, humans developed instincts that allowed them to survive and transmit their genes along generations. The will to win is an instinct that has been maintained in the species for millions of years. Sport is an activity as old as humans themselves and is subject to rules; Objective: The proposal of this work is to explore some of the most recurrent practices to achieve the athletes’ goals, and the origins and historical use of methods or substances to improve performance and its regulation, as well as to review the impact of new technologies on achieving better results and to make a proposal of what actions should be takenin order to prevent bad practices; Methods: A narrative literature review of ethical sports issues and decision-making was performed in the English language; Results: Practically all behavior with regards to the theme of sports is regulated by ethical codes that must be followed by sportspersons, as well as by everyone involved in the athlete’s healthcare and in the athlete’s administrative, marketing, and business aspects. Notwithstanding this, winning and reaping glory implies a reward far greater than fame and fortune, which can lead to poor ethical practices in athletes, as well as in interested parties who detract from the intrinsic value of the spirit of sports. The will to win could exceed the limits of what is permitted in fair-play, like the use of prohibited methods or substances; Conclusions: In this work, we review some of the bioethical aspects ofsports. Additionally, recommendations are offered for good practices and to prevent falling into poor ethical behavior.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalBehavioral Sciences
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2018


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