Ethical decision making in sport

3 February 2017

You are a week away from playing in the grand final and you find out your teammate is doping, would you report him?

Your coach tells your team to deliberately lose the final round game of a competition because it means you will have an easier finals path, would you do it?

Some decisions we face are easy, while other choices seem to have no clear right or wrong answer. In sport, our ethics, values and the need to perform can often collide making some decisions more difficult than others.

While the rules might be intended to guide our behaviour in sport, it is our values, principles, beliefs and moral codes which guide the choices we make.

Since 2015, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has incorporated ethical decision making into its anti-doping workshops, guiding participants through a series of hypothetical dilemmas which asks them to consider their values, beliefs and motivations.

Now ASADA, in partnership with the National Integrity of Sport Unit have developed an online learning program for athletes at all levels to explore ethics in sport.

The Getting to grips with ethics in sport program asks athletes to identify their values and principles, and decide what meaning they give to sport. The program then leads the athletes through three scenarios around anti-doping, illicit drugs and match-fixing, and challenges them to consider how their values and principles may apply to each dilemma.

The program further extends ASADA’s suite of elearning programs, and supports the need for values-based education which is promoted in the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

ASADA’s face-to-face workshops are still available, and groups or organisations that would like discuss how the session may fit into your anti-doping education plans should contact us on 13 000 ASADA (27232) to enquire about availability and costs.