Athlete whistleblowers

Two UK researchers report that “for both US and UK doping whistleblowers, coming forward with information requires ongoing personal sacrifice – emotional, financial and relational.” From “The Conversation” — a site that offers academic research in plain English. More here on whistleblower protection and athletics from the NWC.

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by Kelsey Erickson, Leeds Beckett University and Susan Backhouse, Leeds Beckett University

 

Athletes should not feel like they have to choose between their careers or telling the truth about doping in sport. Yet, our new research shows that this is (too) often the reality for many involved in the sporting world. Telling the truth isn’t always rewarded. Instead, speaking up – whistleblowing – is too often followed by retribution.

Our new research shows that whistleblowing on doping in elite sport can (and does) come at a cost to the whistleblower. As we discovered, for both US and UK doping whistleblowers, coming forward with information requires ongoing personal sacrifice – emotional, financial and relational.

Contrary to common belief, whistleblowing on doping is generally not a simple matter of report and move on. Rather, it is a series of steps – each accompanied by complex decisions – that exist from the moment of witnessing the questionable behaviour to well beyond the act of actually whistleblowing.


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