CCES Blog: Making Sport Better

Welcome to the CCES blog. We’ll be using this platform to share our views on anything and everything related to ethics in sport – from playground to podium. The CCES uses ethical debate to create an environment for meaningful dialogue around the future of sport. We strive to shape the public consensus of how we should behave when we compete, always recognizing that in a democracy, consensus is dynamic. 

The contributors to this blog are the four members of our executive team:

Paul Melia, President and Chief Executive Officer
Doug MacQuarrie, Chief Operating Officer
Karri Dawson, Senior Director, Quality Sport
Jeremy Luke, Senior Director, Sport Integrity

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Vigilante Justice

December 16, 2013Shinny on the pond at twighlight

We witnessed again, on December 7th , an example of NHL style vigilante justice, meted out by Boston tough guy Shawn Thornton in response to a borderline body check to his teammate. In the first period of the game between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, Shawn Thornton attacked Brooks...Read more

Nelson Mandela – an example in life and in sport

December 11, 2013A football field is lit at twighlight

As our lives unfold, it is common for us to ask ourselves, what difference have I made, what will be my legacy after I am gone? Few will be able to leave a legacy like Nelson Mandela. He died this past weekend at the age of 95 and the positive impact of his life on the entire world is being...Read more

CCES CEO Addresses World Conference on Doping in Sport

November 13, 2013WADA Conference Logo

This week, a few CCES staff members and I are at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg (http://wada2013.org). Below is a speech I just delivered during a plenary session:Read more

You can help the fight against doping in sport

November 5, 2013Runners make ready at the starting blocks

Over the past couple of years, a review of the World Anti-Doping Code has been undertaken involving extensive worldwide consultation with all stakeholders and signatories. The resulting proposed revisions to the Code will be ratified this November in South Africa. The newly revised Code will come...Read more

Supplements in the news…again

October 17, 2013Supplement powder spills out onto a table

Supplements, long the doping scourge of athletes looking for that extra edge, have made the headlines again. This time it is a product called "Craze" that has come under fire from the medical and scientific communities and the anti-doping movement...Read more

What’s in a name?

September 19, 2013Football helmet and ball

That’s the question currently being debated by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and a local community sports team in Ottawa, the Nepean Redskins Football Club. Those who favour retaining the name offer up reasons that run from, “Its use celebrates the heritage of Native...Read more

Is pro sport serious about clean sport?

July 11, 2013Young fans hope to catch a fly ball from the stands

The Biogenesis story linking Major League Baseball (MLB) players to the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is heating up again. This simmering story, that will soon break and may expose over 20 MLB players, casts the spotlight on MLB but it also casts a shadow of sorts on a few other North...Read more

Heads up!

June 12, 2013Players chase a soccerball

Quebec Soccer’s controversial decision to ban turbans and the subsequent efforts of the Canadian Soccer Association to overturn the ban is an interesting case study in “doing the right thing.”Read more

Ethical Literacy – Reducing Bad Behaviour in Sport

May 10, 2013Players and coaches head off the field

Why is it that bad behavior in sport seems to be escalating? Doping, match-fixing, violence, fraud, harassment and others. Sport’s great potential to shape and transform lives and to impart values and build character, appears to be losing ground to a wide array of unethical behaviours in sport. If...Read more

Fitting the pieces together (part 3)

February 27, 2013A group of soccer players pose for a team photo

In yesterday’s blog post, I made an analogy of the Canadian sport system being similar to a four-legged stool, with each leg representing an important section (participation, high-performance excellence, preparation of competent coaches, and physical literacy). But what about the values in sport? Read more

Fitting the pieces together (part 2)

February 26, 2013Soccer coach goes over the game plan

Yesterday, I posed the question: “If the Canadian Sport Policy 2012 is the over-arching blueprint for the Canadian sport system, how do all the pieces fit together?” Today, let me suggest a rather simple analogy in an attempt to do just that – fit the pieces together. Think of Canadian sport as a...Read more

Fitting the pieces together (part 1)

February 25, 2013Stick Figure Graphics of Sports

Fitting all the pieces of the Canadian sport system together is not an easy task. It is unlike any other. It is neither school-based (think US sport system) nor club-based (think European sport system). Our system combines elements of both, but at the community level, our system is largely...Read more

Lessons from Lance

January 23, 2013Water colour painting of a bicycle race

What, if anything, can we learn from Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey last week? When it comes to doping in the sport of cycling, the answer is: nothing we didn’t already know. But, are there any lessons we can take from Lance’s public admission to Oprah that he did indeed dope all...Read more

2012: What a year in sports!

December 20, 2012Hockey Players Shake Hands

I noticed the top three stories in sport this past year, as determined by a poll in North America, were: the Penn State Sandusky Scandal, the Lance Armstrong Scandal, and the NFL Bounty Scandal. In order: child molestation, doping, and violence in sports were the top stories. I wonder if we have a...Read more

Brain Injuries – the hidden damage

December 4, 2012A bodycheck along the boards

Twenty years from now, probably less, we will look back on brain injuries in sport and wonder how we could have allowed this kind of harm come to our kids. Today though, we are content to refer to brain injuries as “getting your bell rung” or “seeing stars” or some other euphemism which...Read more

Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons?

September 28, 2012Marathon runners close in on the finish line.

Recently, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) asserted a number of anti-doping rule violations against Lance Armstrong and proposed the appropriate sanctions for these violations as provided for under the World Anti-Doping Code. Mr. Armstrong had the right to contest these assertions...Read more

When something important is not valued, everyone loses

September 20, 2012Basketball Players Relax on the Bench

Imagine if there was something in our communities that reduced teen suicide, reduced teen pregnancy, reduced drug use, reduced obesity, and reduced youth gang and crime involvement. Imagine if that same thing also increased self-esteem, improved academic performance, improved physical and mental...Read more

When good comes from bad

September 19, 2012Softball game at dusk

In today’s world of 24/7 sports radio, television and the internet, most kids are exposed to “all sports, all the time.” Given the media’s preference to sensationalize the darker side of sport rather than to highlight the sensational, young sports enthusiasts are fed a steady diet of athletes...Read more

Fair and Phenomenal

August 5, 2012Athletic Track

True Sport moments are not simply about examples of fair play or sportsmanship, although they are often evident in True Sport. True Sport moments are about when sport is firing on all cylinders – when the Principles of True Sport (www....Read more

Can you lose and still be a champion?

July 31, 2012Close up of hands shaking in agreement

Can you lose and still be a champion?

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic just proved you can. After an epic four hour plus tennis match at the London Games, which ended 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in favour of Raonic’s opponent Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France, the two combatants embraced...Read more