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Year 12: Term 2: Access and Equity in Sport

Term 2: Cold War

Possible Ethical Dilemmas in GPS Sport (Some Suggestions)

Prohibited Use of Drugs

  • Performance-enhancing drugs and supplements
  • Illicit drugs 
    • Illegal drugs - these fall into 3 main categories: stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine), depressants (opiates including heroin) and hallucinogens (LSD, Magic Mushrooms). Cannibis is a stimulant, a depressant AND a hallucinogen.
    • Pharmaceutical drugs eg painkillers and tranquillisers when used for non- medical purposes;
    • Inhalants


  • Cheating (violating a fair and fairly enforced rule with intent to obtain an advantage)
    • Strategic or professional fouling eg basketball
    • Cheating without violating the rules eg cricket pitch curated to suit cricket team with excellent fast bowlers
    • Cheating via harassment or injury (eg racist or homophobic taunts, or sledging in cricket, gouging  / stomping in rugby)
    • Illegally altering the condition of playing equipment eg ball tampering in cricket
  • Gambling or match-fixing
  • Coaches favouring some team members for various reasons
  • Bullying by other team members or coaching staff
  • Poor behaviour of spectators eg parents
  • Biased or poor refereeing
  • Administrative decisions eg sports scholarships for senior teams, team-stacking or only fielding elite-level teams and ignoring the less able

Inclusivity / Diversity

  • Selection of teams which may exclude on the basis of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion

How to Make Ethical Decisions

The most common psychology-based principles for ethical decision-making involve such elements as

  • Do no harm 
  • Help others
  • Respect and promote autonomy
  • Treat others fairly and equitably
  • Be trustworthy
  • Respect dignity

From Psychology: Ethical Issues in Sport

Also, there are 4 dilemmas:

  • Good for the unit versus good for the whole
  • Good for the short-term versus good for the long-term
  • Truth versus loyalty
  • Justice versus mercy

How to solve these ethical dilemmas:

  1. By adopting 'AND':
  • Good for the unit AND good for the whole
  • Good for the long-term AND good for the short-term
  • Truth AND Loyalty
  • Justice AND Mercy

          ​2. Think about outcomes

  • Ends-based: Select the option that generates the most good for the most people
  • Rule-based: Choose as if you're creating a universal standard - the one you want others to follow
  • Care-based: Choose as if you were the one most affected by your decision

          3. Keep the group committed to the decision

​​From How to Solve Ethical Decisions in a Way That Work For Everyone 

The Conversation Articles

The Conversation

The Conversation is an independent source of news and analysis that uses content sourced from the academic and research community.

Useful speeches

TED Talk: Sport - The Ultimate Expression of Fairness

Corruption in sport is a multibillion dollar industry that demeans the people who choose to stay clean and play fair.

From his vantage point of CEO of the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS), Michael Hershmann contemplates the role of sport from refugee camps to the Olympic games. He advocates getting back to the spirit of sport by teaching children fair-play and integrity at grass roots level.

How to Write In-Text References



Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

Ethical Decision-Making Framework


From: Dr Paul Oliver: Play By the Rules

What Are the Elements of Fair Play?

The Elements of Fair Play (From Fair Play International)
Fair competition
Team spirit
Sport without doping
Respect for written and unwritten rules:

  • Integrity
  • Solidarity
  • Tolerance
  • Care
  • Excellence
  • Joy

Norms in Sports

This website states that norms in sports ethics include these elements:

  • Athletes are dedicated to the game - they have an unwavering commitment and will make all necessary sacrifices.
  • Athletes strive to be distinguished - they seek perfection, to constantly improve performance, and they try to win.
  • Athletes mostly accept risks - they will play through pain.
  • Athletes don't accept any obstacles that could block their pursuit of success, even if the odds are againt them.

These norms can push against ethical behaviour.

From Berkeley Centre: Norms in Sport - Athletes and Human Dignity

ACHPER Ethical Website


The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can now be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Useful databases

Useful Articles and Reports

The following free ebook articles have kindly been made available by courtesy of Gale publishers during the school closure period 2020 from their ebook 'Philosophy: Sports'.

The Ethics of Performance Enhancement

The Ethics of Sportsmanship

Athletes as Role Models - Sports as Social Laboratories

Doping in Sport

Seb Coe: The fight against doping is a war of attrition — but we can win it

Ethical Decision-Making Elements


In its simplest form,  Ethics is the study of what makes a particular action in a particular situation the right thing to do (Physiopedia). Ethical decision-making involves the following:

Values - These are the things we believe are important in the way we live or work eg Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Loyalty.

Principles - Fundamental truths that help us work out what's right and wrong - things you've learned throughout your life.

Purpose - What is your purpose in becoming involved in sport? Why did you get involved? Fun / Social involvement / Health / Building character and self-esteem / Glory / Money? Understanding your purpose helps you understand behaviours and choices people make within their ethical decisions.

Morals - Things you're taught (by religion / parents / wider community beliefs) eg not cheating, respecting others, 'doing unto others as you would have them do unto you' etc. Morals are what guide you in the right thing to do.

From: Play By the Rules Webinar

Useful Websites

Australian Institute of Sport
Safe, Fair and Inclusive Sport
Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making in Sport

Clearninghouse for Sport (Australia)
Integrity in sport  a resource collection (Last updated 2019)

Play by the Rules
Integrity in Sport

Fair Play International
What is fair play?

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University (USA)
This website has articles related to ethics in sports. Here are a few:

What role does ethics play in sports? by Kirk O. Hanson & Matt Savage (2012)

Ethics in youth sports by Kirk O. Hanson & Matt Savage (2015)

Ethics in college sports by Kirk O. Hanson & Matt Savage (2012)

Play by the Rules  (Australia)
Conduct and Behaviour a resource collection for coaches, officials, parents, players, and committees

The Ethics Centre (Australia)
An Australian non-profit organisation that focuses on ethics and everyday life. There are a number of articles and videos related to ethics and sport

What is ethics? 

What ethics should athletes live by? (2019)

Ethical Concerns in sport: How to solve the crisis by David Burfoot (2019)

Corruption in sport: From the playing field to the field of ethics by David Burfoot (2019)

Useful eBooks

Scanned book chapters

The Report Writing Genre

Note that you need the following in your Report:

Title Page (not part of main report, so not numbered)

Table of Contents (not part of main report, so not numbered)

  1. Introduction
  2. Conclusion
  3. List of References

Note that the 'how to' guide below was originally for Year 8s but the principle remains the same for any report. Before you begin, add 'Introduction', 'Conclusion' and 'List of References' on separate pages of your report.