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April 15, 2017

Essays for SBI PO 2017 - Is Sports Losing its Integrity ?

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Is Sports Losing its Integrity ?

  • Sports is a multi-billion dollar industry.
  • IPL, Commonwealth Games exposed the spot-fixing, doping and match-fixing. 
  • Some India cricketers were banned for their involvement in match fixing. 
  • Negligence from the government leads the players towards bribery, match fixing. • Recent doping scandal. 
  • The government should intervene to check mal-practices.
"An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head." 
Emil Zatopek 
Sports is a multi-billion dollar industry and engages billions of people throughout the world. With the involvement of so many people, the stakes are high. This has led to the tainting of sports with corruption, scandals, match-fixing, doping and betting. Even the international events such as Olympics and Common wealth Games have been associated with different scandals. Match-fixing has found its place in almost all the sports that are played throughout the world. Match-fixing is when a match is played to a completely or partially predetermined result, violating the rules of the game and often the law. Spot-fixing is something as minor as timing a no ball or wide delivery in cricket.

The advent of Twenty-Twenty Cricket is said to have made spot-fixing more difficult to detect. A number of alleged middlemen and bookies lure the players with the money in order to get the results in their requisite favour. The Indian Premier League and Commonwealth Games exposed the spot-fixing, match-fixing and corruption at different levels in different games. Cricket, which is known as the gentleman's game has started losing its sheen under the burden of such malpractices.

A number of Indian cricket players were named and banned for their involvement in some of the infamous match-fixing and spot-fixing scandals. Mohammad Azharuddin, one of the best captain of Indian team was named in a match-fixing scandal. He was banned to play international and domestic cricket by BCCI. However, the ban was lifted later after as no substantial evidence was found against him. This happened during a home-series against South Africa in 1999-2000. Ajay Jadeja was also named in the same. Sreesanth was named in a spot-fixing scandal during IPL 2013 series. As a result, he was banned from playing cricket for his life. Although betting is illegal, it can be rampantly observed during the cricket matches. The growth of Internet and social-media has led to the connectivity, which has led to the increase in gambling and betting activities during different matches.

The IPL, being a highly money intensive league involves a lot of money laundering through sponsorship and advertising arrangements or through television rights, purchase of teams and players. The Commonwealth Games scandal exposed the rampant and deep-rooted corruption. The companies had gained the contracts for the construction of the Commonwealth village and the infrastructure using illegal routes, eventually resulting in poor quality infrastructure.

Apart from this, the use of performance-enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids, and recreational drugs have severely dented the credibility of athletes. These drugs are used to enhance the performance and improve the endurance of an individual.

Most of the times it is the money which is used as a bait to attract the sportsmen. Except for cricket, the majority of sportsmen in our country are not paid well. Many of the players who have won laurels for the country at an international level are not given due recognition.

They are like a one night star. Time and again the media has reported the abysmal state of the players who have won laurels for the country at the international levels, but are now leading a miserable life. Their efforts are not acknowledged by the government and different sports' bodies. This is what attracts a player towards bribery, corruption, and match- fixing.

Doping test is conducted to confirm the intake of the performance-enhancing drugs by the players and athletes. There have been cases where the food and drinks of the other players' are spiked by their rivals, so that the players fail the doping test.

This is done to malign the reputation of the player and make him out of the competition. Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav has been slapped a four-year ban by Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) following an involvement in doping.

As a result he was banned to participate in Rio Olympics. Narsingh had repetitively complained that his food was spiked by fellow players. He had got a clean chit from the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA) but failed to get the same from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Different national and international level athletes have often complained the lack of funds and proper pitches, playgrounds for the practice, There is a considerable difference in the conditions of home grounds and the international level pitches where the games are to be played actually. This Wis why they have to take the support of drugs to put up a performance that matches the international standards.

The government needs to intervene in order to keep a check on the rising malpractices. It must give due credits, in terms of both rewards and recognition to the sportsmen and cue coaches for their performances at different tournaments. All the sports and games need to be given equal importance.

The sports infrastructure of country needs to be upgraded in order to meet the international standards. The government must invest in building the infrastructure related to sports. Besides, training workshops need to be conducted regularly. In the case of the training workshops, the coaches of international standards need to be roped in to teach the intricacies of the sports.

A proper selection and regulatory mechanism needs to be followed for the selection and short listing of the players. This is another area where corruption is widely prevalent.

Schools and educational institutes can contribute their part by making sports an important part of the curriculum.

Last but not the least it is the integrity and the commitment of a sportsman towards any sports that matters. He needs to uphold and preserve the dignity of the sports he is associated with. All the sports teach an individual to play fairly and uphold the true spirit of sportsmanship. The sportsmen should always keep this fact in mind that they are the role models for many youngsters. So, this becomes their moral duty to set good examples for their followers. Integrity, honesty and sincerity must be the essential qualities of a sportsman. Indulging in illegal routes may fetch him short term fame and money. But at the end, it is his talent and capabilities which will make him a winner in the race of life.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Tainting a trace of a bad or undesirable quality of substance
  • Requisite needed for a particular purpose
  • Rampantly growing quickly and in a way that is difficult to control
  • Endurance the ability to do something difficult for a long time
  • Bait something that is said or offered to people in order to make them react in a particular way
  • Abysmal extremely poor or bad
  • Slapped to subject to a penalty
  • Spiked to add flavour or something
  • Intricacies something that is complex or detailed. 
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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