The presented case study highlights a moral dilemma often encountered in the world of sports, pitting the pursuit of victory against ethical principles.

The use of performance-enhancing drugs threatens the integrity of competition and jeopardizes India’s international reputation.


a) Options for Action:

Option 1: Warning the athletes/coach


  • Allows fellow athletes to make an informed choice to refrain from drug use.
  • Addresses the issue within the team.


  • Warning may not be taken seriously.
  • Coach might retaliate on disciplinary grounds.
  • The possibility of detection in doping tests still exists, leading to unfair competition.

Option 2: Direct Complaint to Higher Authorities


  • Ensures fair competition by preventing drug users from participating.
  • Establishes one’s credibility as a fair player.


  • Athletes/coach are denied a chance to explain their actions.
  • Media exposure could damage the nation’s image and sports fraternity.
  • Higher officials may also be implicated.

Option 3: Post-Competition Complaint


  • Team’s performance remains unaffected during the competition.
  • Provides time for assessing available options.


  • Athletes/coaches may deny any wrongdoing.
  • Fails to resolve immediate moral and conscience crisis during the competition.
  • Risk of detection and damage to India’s global image due to doping.


  1. Myself
  2. My colleagues
  3. Indian State
  4. Society at large and the spirit of sports
  5. Coach


  •  My course of action aligns with Gandhian ethics, emphasizing the need to lead by example.
  • I would seek to gather accurate information, persuade fellow athletes to avoid drug use, and warn the coach if necessary.
  •  If the malpractices persist, I would submit a written complaint to relevant authorities, including the National Anti-Doping Agency and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

b) Reasons for Unfair Means in Sports:
1. Individual Factors:

  • Desire for victory, improvement, pain management, recovery, career longevity, and economic gains.
  • Intense competition may drive athletes towards unethical practices.

2. Legal Factors:

  • Weak enforcement of anti-doping rules by domestic sports bodies.
  • Lack of awareness about anti-doping regulations.

3. Systemic Factors:

  • Historical prevalence of doping.
  • Inadequate anti-doping infrastructure.
  • Biased influence of coaches.

Steps to Minimize Unfair Means:

1. Preventive Steps:

  • Raise awareness about the side effects and penalties for doping violations, particularly at grassroots levels.
  • Simplify anti-doping rules and regulations.
  • Improve drug testing technology and investigative capabilities.

2. Punitive Steps:

  • Enforce anti-doping laws rigorously at domestic levels, with random and frequent athlete testing.
  • Ban countries involved in covering up anti-doping violations and coaches implicated in such activities.

3. Promotive Steps:

  • Advocate best practices and encourage nations to adopt them.
  • Factor ethical conduct and doping rankings into funding mechanisms.

4. Other Steps:

  • Implement Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificates to protect athletes with legitimate medical conditions.
  • Universalize the application of athletes’ ‘biological passport.’

Success in sports should be measured not only by victory but also by adhering to fairness, honesty, and sportsmanship.
Upholding these principles is essential to preserve the integrity of sports and society as a whole.
In the pursuit of triumph, the means employed must be as honourable as the victory itself. Only through fairness and trustworthiness can we safeguard the established order of our society.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish May 22, 2024