, there are circumstances where the public trust can be put at risk. A conflict of interest (COI) from an author, a reviewer, or an editor can influence the trustworthiness of a paper. In this editorial, I examine the potential sources of COI in sport-related research and discuss how they affect the
Aaron J. Coutts
generally unequipped to distinguish between reliable evidence and agenda-driven “spin.” Given the web of (disclosed and undisclosed) conflicts of interest involved and the technical jargon used in RCTs and meta-analyses, separating the wheat from the chaff is essentially impossible. Thus, in the evolving
Michael J. McNamee, Bradley Partridge, and Lynley Anderson
The issue of concussion in sport is a matter of global public interest that is currently under dispute by educational, legal, and medical professionals and scientists. In this article we discuss the problem from philosophical, bioethical, and sports ethical perspectives. We articulate conceptual differences in approaches to definition and therefore diagnosis of concussion. We critically review similarities and differences in the leading consensus statements that guide the treatment of concussion diagnosis and treatment in sports. We then present a series of ethical problems including issues that relate to paternalistic intervention in the lives of athletes in order to prevent harm to athletes, conflicting and competing interests, and confidentiality.
Damon Burton and Rainer Martens
Previous research concludes that athletes drop out of sport because of conflicts of interest, but these findings cannot clarify whether dropouts find other activities more appealing or turn to new activities because sport fails to meet their achievement needs. This investigation assessed dropout motives by testing explanations derived from Nicholls' (1984) motivational model and comparing them with traditional dropout questionnaire responses. Wrestling coaches, participants, participants' parents, dropouts, and dropouts' parents completed a 23-item dropout inventory; and participants and dropouts responded to questionnaire items testing Nicholls' task choice predictions. Dropout inventory responses confirmed previous conflict-of-interest findings. In data testing Nicholls' model, participants demonstrated significantly higher perceived ability, better won-loss records, more functional attributions, and more positive expectancies, and valued wrestling success more than dropouts did. These findings supported predictions that wrestlers change activities when continued participation threatens their perceived ability. Disagreement between the conclusions concerning why young athletes drop out of wrestling drawn from the conflict-of-interest explanation and from Nicholls' perceived ability model are discussed, and suggestions for reducing dropout rates are offered.
Andreas Volp and Udo Keil Johann
Athletes* success and failure have often been linked to certain personality characteristics. Although previous results in this area were equivocal, many researchers concluded that athletes often drop out of competitive sport because of conflicts of interest, or because they fail to demonstrate high ability in sports. This investigation assessed the importance of intrapersonal conflicts to athletic performance and to dropping out. Swimmers competing at three different levels of performance filled out a conflict questionnaire. Some had indicated that they planned to discontinue their swimming career soon. High performers showed less conflict and a more intensive use of cognitive conflict reduction mechanisms than did medium performers and low level swimmers. Dropouts, on the other hand, had higher conflict scores in areas directly related to athletic performance than did continuers. Intrapersonal conflict was interpreted to be an important mediating variable in sport and personality research.
Charles R. Thompson
The incidence of concussions and potential for long-term health effects has captured the attention of the media, general public, medical professionals, parents, and obviously the athletes themselves. Concussions have been blamed for a variety of mental and physical health issues. The athletic trainer is at the forefront of the concussion management team, as they are typically on the scene when the concussion occurs and are often the first medical personnel to evaluate and, hopefully, remove the athlete from activity. There has been controversy of late regarding the influence of coaches in the care of concussed athletes. Therefore, a move to the “medical model” of sports medicine management can go a long way in resolving conflict of interest issues regarding the care of concussed athletes. A comprehensive concussion team and protocol are also essential to providing the highest level of care. This article takes a closer look at concussion management in the collegiate arena, with a particular focus on Princeton University.
Darcy C. Plymire
In the summer and fall of 1993, women from the People’s Republic of China set an astounding number of world records in track and field. Never had so many women performed so brilliantly in such a short period of time. American track and field journalists, however, responded with shock and outrage. Though the women had never tested positive for steroid use, these journalists insisted that the Chinese women could only have succeeded by using steroids. A qualitative discourse analysis of stories written by these journalists revealed that the case against the Chinese was made by privileging the voices of Western European and American athletes, coaches, and sport scientists, and discrediting the Chinese athletes and coaches. The case buttressed the authority of Western track and field experts and athletes whose dominance might otherwise have been shaken by the superior performances of the Chinese. However, the analysis also pointed to a conflict of interest among different factions of the American track and field establishment as scientists, coaches, athletes, and officials all attempted to distance themselves from blame for the prevalence of steroid use by focusing attention on the misdeeds of others.
Kimberly S. Peer
Sports medicine professionals are facing new dilemmas in light of the changing dynamics of sport as an enterprise. These changes have considerable ethical implications as sports medicine team members are placed in challenging ethical decision-making situations that often create values tensions. These values conflicts have the potential to threaten and degrade the trust established through the mutual expectations inherent in the social contract between the health care providers and society. According to Starr,1 the social contract is defined as the relationship between medicine and society that is renegotiated in response to the complexities of modern medicine and contemporary society. Anchored in expectations of both society and the medical professions, this tacit contract provides a strong compass for professional practice as it exemplifies the powerful role and examines the deep responsibilities held by health care providers in our society. Although governed by professional boards and organizational codes of ethics, sports medicine professionals are challenged by the conflicts of interest between paternalistic care for the athlete and autonomous decisions often influenced by stakeholders other than the athletes themselves. Understanding how the construct of sport has impacted sports health care will better prepare sports medicine professionals for the ethical challenges they will likely face and, more importantly, facilitate awareness and change of the critical importance of upholding the integrity of the professional social contract.
Success in sport relies on access to high-quality coaching, yet in many sports organisations—particularly those with limited financial resources—access to coaching expertise can be problematic. Although coaching capability may exist within a sports organisation, access to and retention of coaching staff for high-performance teams can be inconsistent and dependent on a number of factors, such as conflicts of interest or lucrative contracts. In the current article, a self-study methodology guided an initiative to connect several high-performance kendō athletes and their coach via video calling/conferencing technologies. Termed the “Video Coach,” a description of the methods used is provided to demonstrate the ways in which easily accessible technologies can enable consistency in the coach–athlete exchange. The “Video Coach” approach has potential application at a high-performance level where the face-to-face exchange between coach and athlete(s) is limited; however, the initial findings suggest that success requires rapport and pedagogical skills that ensure athletes benefit from the experience.
, and Muscle Quality in Preconditioned Older Women, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism , 28(5), 528–535, https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0253 , the acknowledgements indicated that the authors had no conflict of interest. The online version of this article has been