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 primary contributors to this blog are the members of the CCES executive team (listed below), with occasional entries from other CCES staff:

Paul Melia, President and Chief Executive Officer
Karri Dawson, Executive Director, Values-Based Sport
Jeremy Luke, Executive Director, Sport Integrity

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Rules are not guidelines

April 10, 2012A hockey player and ref shake hands after the game

The NHL Playoffs are about to begin and so too is the oft-heard refrain, “I hope the refs let them play.” Such is the oddity of the sport of hockey where the rules of the game are, to say the least, very elastic.

This raises the question of what is the purpose of the rules of hockey in...Read more

When sport turns tragic

February 3, 2012A soccer ball on the field

The recent soccer riots in Egypt remind us once again just how vulnerable sport is. While the situation and tragic results of the riots in Port Said seem to be more about political unrest and political regime change in the wake of the “Arab Spring,” they do nevertheless shine a spotlight on...Read more

The World Anti-Doping Code is being revised – have your say

December 6, 2011Stick figure representation of people conversing

How does the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) affect you? You may not even realize that it does, let alone how it does. In Canada, the Code is brought into force through the Canadian Anti Doping Program (CADP). If your sport organization has adopted the CADP into your rules, then you are...Read more

Losing our way...

November 10, 2011Football field at dusk

The child abuse scandal currently unfolding at Penn State University is an important lesson in the tragic consequences that can result when sport loses its way. What happened to these young boys did not happen on a field of play; but what happened to these young boys most certainly happened in...Read more

Hazing – A misguided, outdated and barbaric ritual

October 27, 2011Hockey ref jersey, whistle and puck

And yet again, another incident of hazing in Canadian sport. This time, it occurred on a Manitoba junior hockey team and thankfully the Manitoba Junior Hockey League has acted swiftly and sternly in response… Or have they?

The nature of the hazing ritual in this instance is not clear....Read more

New sheriff in the NHL

September 23, 2011A hockey puck sits on the ice

There’s a new sheriff in the NHL and so far I like his style. Brendan Shanahan is the new head of discipline and he seems to have brought a refreshingly new approach to his job – apply the rules and make the punishment for rule breakers act as a real deterrent to the rule breaker and to all...Read more

Less emphasis on winning...

July 11, 2011Kicking the soccerball

On the heels of the Canadian women’s soccer team’s disappointing performance at this year’s World Cup in Germany, I read an editorial by Jason de Vos which offered up reasons why he thought the women had not done as well as expected. Here is a link to that editorial:...Read more

Good things...

May 10, 2011A football lays on the grass near a boundary line

Sometimes good things come out of bad situations. Such is the case with the NFL player-management impasse. It appears that in the wake of this work stoppage, the NFL is now taking a serious look at involving the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the carrying out of their anti-doping program. It...Read more

'Match fixing' fixes nothing

May 6, 2011Closeup image of three gaming dice

Fame and fortune are often cited as two of the most significant extrinsic rewards fuelling doping in sport. One of these two culprits, fortune, is also driving another insidious threat to true sport. That threat is match fixing, driven by gambling on sporting contests. I noticed in today’s news...Read more

Where have all the heroes gone?

April 18, 2011Basketball practice at dawn

I was browsing the newspapers this morning and came across a rare article in the sports section – it was a story about a professional athlete and it wasn’t about doping or violence or greed or gambling. It was actually about an athlete who appears to be an incredibly positive role model. An...Read more

Lose the Battle, Win the War

April 7, 2011A Ski Jumper Soars

In December 2009, a public opinion poll found that 73 per cent of Canadians supported including women’s ski jumping in the Olympics, specifically the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. That month, a group of female ski jumper’s asked the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on the British Columbia Supreme...Read more

Strike at the root causes

March 31, 2011High 5's at the end of the game

Doping continues to represent one of the most serious threats to sport and the many benefits sport produces for its participants and our communities. Those who choose to cheat by doping, from the athlete to the coach, doctor, supplier and on through to the manufacturer, are becoming more...Read more

Heads in the Sand

March 15, 2011Hockey sticks and a puck

Looks like the issue of head shots in hockey is getting some traction, even among the NHL top brass who it appears may be taking their heads out of the sand. A five-point plan from the NHL is under development to address the problem of hits to the head. I’m not sure, however, what’s wrong with...Read more

What will it take?

March 10, 2011Hockey players wait to get on the ice

Apparently for Mike Murphy and the NHL brain-trust, it will take a death to get their attention. Or, maybe even then they will shrug their shoulders and say it’s a violent game. First Sidney Crosby and now Max Pacioretty. And what is the NHL brass’ response, “just a hockey play.” Interesting,...Read more

Head shots have no place in hockey.

February 15, 2011Hockey player uncorks one from the high slot

No less than Mario Lemieux has spoken out on violence in the game of hockey. How many more injuries and entertaining (in the way a car crash might be) but embarrassing incidents like the recent Islander/Penguins dust up need to happen before the NHL takes any meaningful action? The place to...Read more