Integrity in Sport header 

It’s very difficult to provide any type of formal definition of what integrity in sport is. The fact is that it means different things to different people. The National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) defines integrity as:

  • The manifestation of the ethics and values which promote community confidence in sports, including fair and honest performances and outcomes, unaffected by illegitimate enhancements or external interests; and
  • positive conduct by athletes, administrators, officials, supporters and other stakeholders, on and off the sporting arena, which enhances the reputation and standing of the sporting contest and of sport overall.

Most discussions around integrity issues includes words like honesty, trust, values, ethics, morals, beliefs, respect and fairness. You can see many of these words in the NISU definition.

In a high performance sense integrity often refers to issues around the use of supplements and performance enhancing substances, match-fixing or doping issues. However, integrity issues are not restricted to high performance sport.

Even those traditionally high performance issues such as supplements, doping and match-fixing are increasingly being seen to impact at a grassroots level of sport. This is on top of a myriad of issues that impact on how fair and safe sport is. One thing is for sure, for sport to remain safe, fair and inclusive, people and organisations need to have integrity.

Many of the issues that impact integrity at a grassroots level, such as bullying and sideline behaviour, are covered elsewhere in this website. So, here we will focus on three emerging integrity issues at a grassroots level – the use of supplements and image enhancing substances, doping and match-fixing. It’s important, at the very least, to be informed about these issues and have some strategies you can use to maintain the integrity of sport at all levels.  

Return to Integrity in Sport page to see what you can do.