Cheating in sports has been going on for a very long time it is true. One does not have to search very far in the history books to find countless examples of teams and individuals having been found cheating their way to victory. With the recent talk of bad behavior surrounding the Super Bowl this year along with numerous other reports of questionable activities in various sporting events it gives rise to the question of how prevalent such behavior is in the field of sports.
The real question should perhaps be how sweet can a win be when it comes through dishonest methods? There may be huge monetary gain and notoriety that accompanies such a win but one has to wonder how the players (if they were aware) feel about themselves. It simply cannot be as satisfying to achieve a win through devious means rather than as a result of ones own talent and performance. There was an old saying from many years back that said in effect, “I have to live with myself and so I want to be fit for myself to know.”
There are definitely two schools of thinking on this matter. Some people feel that if you are not cheating then you are not trying hard enough. That assessment seems rather cold and callous.
It is difficult to respect those who we learn have gained their trophies and their money by cheating. What a disappointment it was for so many of us to learn that a well-known and greatly admired champion in the cycling world had cheated his way to so many victories in the Tour de France bicycle races. The success may have felt great for a while but It surely ended up to be a very hollow victory for him.
In Major League Baseball, stars made headlines by admitting to use of illegal substances and naming others whose success was gained by the same methods.
Sadly, the list is long when it comes to those who have gained their fame and fortune through deceit. The real tragedy lies with all the young and eager fans who had looked up to their idols and who were inspired by their amazing efforts only to learn they were ill-gained. Such disillusionment is disheartening and leaves many feeling quite cynical. That is a real shame.
It is hard to imagine that the rewards gained through cheating can override the self knowledge one has to live with each and every day about the means by which they claimed success.