Although we all know that sport is a space for children and young people to adopt healthy values and virtues such as companionship, teamwork, solidarity and effort, it is also a reality that power is capable of corrupting human beings. Professional sports move large sums of money and the people in charge of managing the different sports organizations enjoy great power and influence, and where there is money and power there is often also corruption. Today we will review the most important sports corruption scandals of this century.
On May 27, 2015, the world was shocked by the arrest in a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, of seven FIFA officials by Swiss authorities as a result of years of numerous investigations into corruption cases involving world soccer’s top body. The charges on which they were indicted include bribery, fraud and money laundering. The main investigation was linked to bribes paid by several companies to senior officials of the South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) to secure television rights for multiple competitions. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in circulation. This scandal triggered the resignation of then FIFA president Joseph Blatter.
Russian doping scandal:
In July 2016 with the publication of the McLaren Report, a scandal broke out that tarnished the image of Russian sport. According to investigations carried out by a commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for almost four years the Russian state set up a system to falsify anti-doping tests and cover up possible positive cases. The methodology consisted in making samples of athletes with banned substances in their bodies disappear and replacing them with “clean” samples. This methodology would have benefited fifteen Russian medalists of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The consequences of this scandal have been the suspension of high-ranking Russian officials and the exclusion of Russian athletes from various sports competitions, such as the Rio, Tokyo and Beijing Olympics.
The corrupt IOC selection:
Salt Lake City was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Despite its great atmosphere and good facilities, this venue had not been able to host this competition, but in 1998 the IOC seemed to change its mind. Years later, it was revealed that members of the Salt Lake City campaign had bribed several highly ranked IOC members into voting for them.
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