Values are both the basis of who we are and the aspiration of who we want to be when we are at our best. They are the aspects and qualities that one holds to be most important. We all have values, but sometimes we disconnect from being that person.

Values are what we have, things we do, practice and live by. Additionally, values guide our behavior and actions.

Values are part of the internal system that guides behavior, whereas principles are external. Values are subjective, personal, emotional, and arguable, while principles are objective, factual, impersonal, and self-evident because they are indisputable.

Principles are universal truths based on natural laws. While values govern behaviors, principles govern the consequences of those behaviors. While values may vary from person to person, principles will always remain constant in the universe. In other words, even though values may differ, they are governed by the same principles.

The degree to which we recognize and live in harmony with principles determines if we’re moving toward living a principle-centered life or away from it. Because we know that principles always work, it only makes sense to have values that are based on principles. Over time, actions/behaviors become habits, which in turn become values.

Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) should start by finding out their values which should not be an end in and of itself. They need to remember to always value the correct principles. If their values are not based on principles then they need to course-correct.

For instance, athletes should take some time to reflect on the values they can’t stand when they see them in others or themselves. The opposite of these values is a reflection of what the athlete stands for.

Athletes and ASP should have values that guide their decisions, things that are important and acceptable and those that are not. If they know what drives them, then they can understand others better. Although this may not be enough, the end goal is to have and practice values based on principles.


Anti-doping programs are founded on the intrinsic value of sport. This intrinsic value is often referred to as “the spirit of sport”: the ethical pursuit of human excellence through the dedicated perfection of each Athlete’s natural talents.

The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind. It is the essence of Olympism and is reflected in the values we find in and through sport.

The following are the spirit of sport values:

  • Health
  • Ethics, fair play and honesty
  • Athletes’ rights as set forth in the Code
  • Excellence in performance
  • Character and Education
  • Fun and joy
  • Teamwork
  • Dedication and commitment
  • Respect for rules and laws
  • Respect for self and other Participants
  • Courage
  • Community and solidarity

Doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport.


Doping is both a health and an ethical issue. Performance enhancing substances and methods may be extremely dangerous and can lead to death. In addition to endangering their own health, athletes who dope seek to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors, thereby undermining their competitors’ hard work and threatening the credibility of their sport. This win at all cost attitude violates the underlying values that make sport meaningful to the society. In sport and life, what matters most is taking part and striving for improvement, not just winning.

Clean sport means athletes:

  1. Compete on a level playing field;
  2. Are rewarded for their hard-work, talent and skills;
  3. Value the spirit of sport;
  4. Respect and look after their bodies and their health;
  5. Follow the anti-doping rules and
  6. Understand the importance of a doping testing regime to catch cheats and protect clean athletes.


a) Integrity

The quality of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values

Some examples of integrity demonstrated in sports include:

  • A tennis player correcting an umpire’s (referee’s) wrong call leading to a loss of own points and a gain to the opponent

When players fake being injured or fouled in soccer, they are not acting in a sportsmanlike manner because the game of soccer is not designed to measure an athlete’s ability to act. Faking is a way of intentionally deceiving an official into making a bad call, which only hurts the credibility of officiating and ultimately undermines the integrity of the game.

b) Respect

Respect is having a regard for other people and their lives; it is showing those around us compassion and empathy.

  • All athletes should show respect for teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials.
  • All coaches should show respect for their players, opponents, and officials.
  • All fans should show respect for other fans, as well as both teams and officials. Some examples of respect demonstrated in sports include
  • Listening to what others have to say
  • Affirming someone
  • Serving others
  • Being kind and polite
  • Being thankful
  • Treat others with respect and follow the Golden Rule
  • Be tolerant and accepting of differences
  • Use good manners, not bad language
  • Be considerate of the feelings of others
  • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone
  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

c) Responsibility

Responsibility is the state of having control over someone or something

To be sportsmanlike requires players and coaches to take responsibility for their performance, as well as their actions on the field. This includes their emotions.

Many times, athletes and coaches will make excuses as to why they lost the game. The most popular excuse is to blame the officiating. The honorable thing to do instead is to focus only on the aspects of the game that you can control, that is, your performance and to question yourself about where you could have done better.

Some examples of responsibility demonstrated in sports include

  • Players and coaches being up to date on the rules and regulations governing their sport.
  • Players and coaches conducting themselves in an honorable way off the field, as well as on it.
  • Doing what you are supposed to do
  • Planning ahead
  • Being diligent
  • Persevering
  • Doing your best
  • Using self-control
  • Being self-disciplined
  • Thinking before you act
  • Being accountable for your words, actions and attitudes
  • Setting a good example for others
  • Choosing a positive attitude
  • Making healthy choices

d) Fairness

Fairness is the quality of treating people equally or in a way that is right and reasonable as explained below

  • All athletes and coaches must follow established rules and guidelines of their respective sport.
  • Teams that seek an unfair competitive advantage over their opponent create an uneven playing field which violates the integrity of the sport.
  • Athletes and coaches are not discriminated against or excluded from participating in a sport based on their race, gender or sexual orientation.
  • Referees must apply the rules equally to both teams and cannot show bias or personal interest in the outcome.
  • Athletes are encouraged to take turns and share

Some examples of fairness demonstrated in sports include

  • Teammates: encouraging a teammate who has scored an own goal
  • Opponents: helping an injured or exhausted athlete cross the finish line
  • Fans: applauding an opponent player for a game well played

e) Care

Caring is the act of showing kindness and concern for others.

Some examples of care demonstrated in sports include

  • Be kind and compassionate to teammates and opponents
  • Showing sympathy to an opponent that has lost a game
  • Showing empathy to an opponent that has set a new record
  • Coach and spectators can express gratitude to a substituted player by applauding them as they come off the field
  • Forgive others and show mercy when they wrong you
  • Help an opponent player in need of water
  • An athlete being charitable and generous by donating sport equipment to needy talented athletes

f) Patriotism

The quality of having devotion and vigorous support for one’s country by feeling a strong sense of belonging and attachment to their country because of one’s appreciation for its values

Athletes and athlete support personnel can demonstrate patriotism by:

  • Doing their share to make their team, home, school, community and greater world better 
  • Cooperating with the government, sports federations etc.
  • Staying informed and participating in electoral processes
  • Being good neighbors
  • Obeying laws and rules
  • Respecting authority
  • Protecting the environment
  • Volunteering

g) Trustworthiness

Ability to be relied on as honest and truthful

Athletes and athlete support personnel can demonstrate trustworthiness by:

  • Being honest in communications and actions
  • Not deceiving, cheating or stealing
  • Being reliable — doing what they say they will do
  • Having the courage to do the right thing
  • Building a good reputation
  • Being loyal — standing by with their family, friends, and country
  • Keeping their promises


Strict Liability is a theory that imposes legal responsibility even if the person who was found strictly liable did not act with fault or negligence.

The rule which provides that under Article 2.1 and Article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code, it is not necessary that intent, Fault, Negligence, or knowing Use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated by the Anti-Doping Organization in order to establish an anti-doping rule violation.

An anti-doping rule violation is committed without regard to an Athlete’s Fault. This rule has been referred to in various CAS decisions as “Strict Liability”. An Athlete’s Fault is taken into consideration in determining the Consequences of this anti-doping rule violation under Article 10 to the Code. This principle has consistently been upheld by CAS.