Unethical ? How far would you go.

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Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby jonathon.e » 22 Mar 2018 10:43

There is a difference between illegal ( against the rules ), and unethical ( which I see as unsportsmanlike like, or unofficial guidelines ). I am not going to be critical, just interested in peoples perspective and get a debate going.

I tend to look at rules and will operate within them during a race, if, I have paid a lot of money and feel unwell prior to race which involves taking an over the counter medicine which contains a banned substance, if and given I am well it is unlikely that I did gain a podium or prize I would not accept it as I gained advantage.
I consider a 'professional foul' to be both unsportsmanlike like and unethical, as it takes advantage of someone else's misfortune, but it is deemed acceptable by some.

If I enter a triathlon, Skipton is a nice example, which has a huge transition but no marked places, I would happily put my bike nearest to the exit and dump it at the entrance, the caveat here being I would be using trainers and I would not be taking up two places simultaneously ( no towel, no dumped stuff etc ).

so, what do you deem to be acceptable, whereas others might not.
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby S11 » 22 Mar 2018 15:08

Ah...sporting advantage.

Sometimes, its just being smart which is really different to unethical. I suppose much of this refers to Froome.....the issue for most AG'ers is that we live busy hectic lives and a taking on some Beechams or similar is there to help us get over the daily grind of life - the question when it gets to pros' is doing that as their job.....

I did disagree with UCI chief (Lampieirieieieie) that supplements was unethical - so what does he call gels?? How long before caffeine is on the list????

Its hard to say, how far you would go ethically....If I had paid a tonne of money and trained like a nutter, then something happened that meant say, taking a steroid tablet that doc prescribes. I'm taking it....that's not a sporting advantage in my eyes.
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby jonathon.e » 22 Mar 2018 16:28

Upto 2003 caffeine and pseudo( huge word even my predictive text can't spell(, were on WADA banned list and as you say may be heading back there due,
Any drug that is banned must meet at least two of WADA’s three criteria: “1) It has the potential to enhance performance; 2) It poses a health risk to athletes; and/or 3) It violates 'the spirit of sport.'”

Those three reasons are pretty broad brush strokes that cover most things. :?

Maybe ethical is the grey area between right and wrong and creates a sliding scale due pressure/motivation/desire. Often cited by athletes when asked about TUE is that it allows them to compete on a level playing field, the interview with Laura Fleshman when questioned about Salazar was nice.

https://www.propublica.org/article/elit ... erformance


I digress, was it ethical for Alistair to help Jonny across the finish line ? Getting help is one thing, gaining an advantage is an extra step. Chucky V ( going back a bit ), was DQ'd for accepting a beer from a spectator during Kona, a caveat to that was he had a bad day and wasn't in line for any winnings, but he broke three rules, drinking alcohol on the course, using glass on the course and accepting a drink from a spectator. I think he got a year ban from racing. At my last IM race there may have been competitors that had a drink from a cafe in the town along the run course. Should there be separate rules for amateurs and pro's.

Another topic could be regarding the length of time a pro athlete has to be none competitive before they race in AG ranks.
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby Jimba » 23 Mar 2018 09:05

Very difficult in sport, as much as life. Tax laws are fiendishly complex, and we know people pay a lot of money to avoid them through legal means. These get a lot of press and are described by politicians as unethical, even though we all do it when we buy in a duty free shop. Somehow there is a difference. We don’t see it as unethical in a duty free shop, but all suck our teeth when we hear of people doing it on a grander scale. I for one don’t think Brit sports people (Lewis hamilton) should be in the running for sports personality of the year when they are registered for tax outside the uk.

Most sports I guess start with rules agreed by the players, but then as it becomes a more popular event, it gets more codified, partly to clear up ambiguities and partly to close loopholes that people have been abusing. It becomes difficult to put your finger on what is gaining a competitive advantage through abuse and what is gaining a competitive advantage through innovation (Fosbury).

The fundamental problem is that selfishness and the desire to win (or whatever other goals you have) override common decency.......starting in the frontline of a race merely to get your best time, knowing that you should be starting halfway back in the pack is an example of that, many would agree, but would you put it in the rules and make it illegal.....arguably the more you codify, the more it becomes less unethical to “game it”.

Overall I think I am in the “sportsmanship”, spirit of the rules camp, loopholes are not there to be exploited, it is not “win” at any cost.....unless of course we are talking about HMRC!
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby Jack Hughes » 23 Mar 2018 09:49

Always a good question to ask.

Obviously, morality/ethics are personal/situational and a grey area. It's interesting to try to work out if something is moral/ethical with some critical questions. A good test of some behaviour, that is not explicitly precluded by the rules/laws that pertain is:

"What would happen if everyone did this?"

If the answer was "everything would be OK" then it's probably a reasonable thing to do. If the answer would be "complete chaos would ensue" then it's probably not good.

For example, you can go down the absurdist route and say "training is performance enhancing, so that is no fair". But if everyone trained, then the sport would still work.

But "If everyone dumps their bikes at the start of transition", then complete chaos would ensue. So it probably isn't a good thing :D

Obviously, there are some questions that this might fall down on, for example, if everyone puts £40k into the personal pension plans, thus avoiding 25% tax on that income, would we no longer be able to fund the NHS, education, social security safety nets etc. etc. Possibly, as the benefit is based on not everyone actually doing this - it's a "nudge" towards getting people to take this activity, which ends up benefiting wealthier people who can avoid to do this.

However, it's the sort of question that helps.

Other areas, are to what extent does this give me a personal advantage, while disadvantaging others. i.e. is this a "zero sum game", or not.

Again, aggressive tax planning doesn't (directly) disadvantage others. If Jimba pays £40k into his tax plan, it doesn't make anyone else poorer (directly, you can construct an argument about lower tax revenues leading to cuts in services, but that's a bit hard to ascribe to one person". If Jon.e drops his bike at the start of transition, again (if he is the only one doing it), it doesn't really deprive anyone else of anything (again, a complex argument could be constructed that he's taking 4 seconds off his time which could deprive a close competitor of a position, but that is a bit of a stretch to do that). However, if I arrive at the buffet for six first, and take all the scotch eggs, then I have deprived other people of stuff (zero sum).

Different questions, different answers, but always worth asking critical questions.
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby Bopomofo » 25 Mar 2018 22:29

I have a bit of a problem with the 'unethical' accusations levied at some top sports-people recently.

I think ethics are more of a concern at an amateur level where rules are less strict. I can take a painkiller and a steroid tablet for my shoulder without fear of getting 'caught', but it isn't right for me to treble my dose in the week before the race to get some last-minute training in and capitalise on it. But then, I'm the only person who knows I cheated. If I told my club mates I did it I would expect to be called a cheating prick and that would be appropriate punishment.

Of course, if I happened to win the Southampton Tri age-group as a result, it would be good to know there's always the threat that UKAD *could* turn up at random and ask me for a sample. My punishment could be adverse publicity and piss-taking. Fair enough.

In pro-sport there are much tighter rules because there is more money. If you want to talk about ethics then stop talking and change the rules. Simple.

I work on the assumption that in any professional sport, if a substance is beneficial and therefore has a testable limit, then any team that is sufficiently funded would ensure that it's athletes are *exactly* on that limit in any way they can.

Much like Lance was in less controlled times, I think there's a cycling team (or two) that are the most professional at staying *just inside* these limits. And this applies to other sports too: Middle distance running, tennis and (from a mate etc) football included. THere's so much money and so many rules involved I don;t think there is room for ethics here. Either change the rules, or accept that people will stay *just* within them.

I liked Jimba's tax comparison: Drug limit evasion, not drug limit avoidance.
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby Jimba » 26 Mar 2018 21:25

And then there is a bit of sticky tape and some abrasive dirt......
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Re: Unethical ? How far would you go.

Postby jonathon.e » 27 Mar 2018 17:04

Jimba wrote:And then there is a bit of sticky tape and some abrasive dirt......


:lol:
As Forrest said, " stupid is, as stupid does ", when the whole world could be watching, and was, oooh I think we can get away with it, nobody would suspect us.!!!

Melbourne F1 this weekend was won by knowing the rules, to gain an advantage, and not by driving better than the others. But, every driver could have done the same.

Maybe, there could be league in sports, one where there is no drugs not even TUE, and a second with TUE. To compete in the no drugs one, the athlete must be TUE free for six months, the irony or paradox depending how you look at it, would be all the better (sic) athletes would be in the TUE category and so would the sponsors so back to square one. As the no drugs one would have no money.
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