Technological Battles

No body is naive enough to think that simply by saying so, athletes (and coaches and other staff) should only behave ethically when faced with opportunities which might provide them a competitive advantage and technically not being against the rules of the game.

The latest seemingly simply example of this is the idea that cricketers would do something to their bat to hide the fact that they actually nicked the ball before being caught.  Apparently it is possible to reduce the 'heat signature' of the Hot Spot video analysis.**  The two reactions to this information are:
  1. Why would a cricketer NOT do something that is perfectly legal, and helps them not get given out?
  2. Why would a cricketer DO something that is clearly designed to mislead the officials when he/she is out, regardless of whether it is against the rules or not?
The issue is that technological battles are not only fought from one direction.  We have seen with countless cycling scandals, along with AFL and NRL scandals, that, when faced with technological methods to stop cheating using drugs, many people feel the logical reaction to this is not to stop using drugs, but to work harder to find drugs/methods that may (or may not) technically be legal.

Every time there is a rule enacted to ensure a level playing field, the competitors on that field will push and prod at it until they find a way to bend it to their advantage.  This is why sports must continue to be the guardians of their own integrity.  Many organisations have a clause in their rules which require all participants to avoid 'bringing the game into disrepute'.  Strong organisations have levied penalties based on this clause even when evidence of criminal wrongdoing has not been sufficiently strong to lead to other sanctions.  Other organisations have turned a blind eye, and end up in a situation where you don't know who has won a competition until 5 years later when all the cheating has been discovered.

**  I really hope that anyone doing this gets adjudged LBW after nicking the ball onto their pads.


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