Irreligion and unsportsmanlike conduct

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Numerous studies report that athletes to be more religious than non-athletes.[1]

In the United States, the irreligious are not as active in sports as theists and studies indicate that the religious generally outperform the irreligious in sports (See: Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism ).

Below are notable cases of the atheists/irreligious engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct via doping.

Agnostic Lance Armstrong and doping

Lance Armstrong is an agnostic.[2] He possibly pulled off the biggest scam in the history of sports by "winning" the Tour-de-France seven times with what has been described as "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Atheistic Soviet Union and the doping of athletes

Soviet sports was riddled with steroid use.[3]

The Los Angeles Times reported about the atheistic Soviet Union:

Soviet sports is riddled with steroid use and Olympic athletes even had a secret laboratory on a ship near Seoul to make sure their urine would pass doping tests, a magazine reports.

"On the ship 'Mikhail Sholokhov,' which was docked 60 kilometers from Seoul, there was an area that was probably even more heavily guarded than the reactor on a nuclear submarine," the youth magazine Smena said. "But it held not a reactor, but a $2.5-million laboratory for doping analysis."

Doping begins very early for many Soviet athletes, Smena said. At the last Spartakiad, a national youth Olympics, dozens of cases of drug-use were discovered, the magazine reported.

The magazine quoted an athlete who claimed that she and her teammates were given drugs by the team doctor and told they were vitamins.[4]

East Germany and doping of athletes

Some 190 East German competitors are launching a case against the German pharmaceutical giant Jenapharm. They claim that the East German firm knowingly supplied the steroids that were given to them by trainers and coaches from the 1960s onwards until East Germany's demise in 1989.[5]

The Guardian declared about atheistic East Germany under the Soviet Union:

They are the forgotten victims. For three decades, East Germans ran, swam and shot-putted their way to glory, winning Olympic gold medals, setting world records and - so it seemed at the time -demonstrating the superiority of communism. But this month the human cost of East Germany's extraordinary sporting success will be laid bare in a courtroom in Hamburg.

Some 190 East German competitors are launching a case against the German pharmaceutical giant Jenapharm. They claim that the East German firm knowingly supplied the steroids that were given to them by trainers and coaches from the 1960s onwards until East Germany's demise in 1989. Jenapharm, now owned by Schering, argues it was not responsible for the doping scandal and blames the communist system...

This state-sponsored doping regime played a decisive role in the dazzling success of East German athletes in international competitions - most notably at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 1980 Moscow games. But it also left a terrible legacy, the athletes' lawyers argue.[6]

Atheistic China and doping

China has the world's largest atheist population.[7][8]

China has the world's largest atheist population.[9][10]

The Telegraph declared about atheistic China:

The legitimacy of existing athletics world records took another hit on Thursday night when Olympic champion and multiple world record holder Wang Junxia reportedly admitted to being part of a Chinese state-sponsored doping regime.

Wang, whose 10,000m world record set in 1993 is a huge 22 seconds ahead of the next best runner in history, has long had question marks over her performances after producing a series of incredible times when part of a group of runners nicknamed Ma’s Army, after their controversial coach Ma Junren.

Ma has been accused of numerous doping offences over the past two decades - all of which he denies - and it has now emerged that Wang, who also holds the 3,000m world record, apparently signed a letter back in 1995 detailing being forced to take “large doses of illegal drugs over the years”.[11]

Nontheistic Thailand and doping

See also: Nontheistic Thailand and child prostitution

In atheistic Thailand, the nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism is prevalent.

In 2015, The Asian Correspondent declared in an article entitled The ugly side of running in Thailand: Age category doping:

DOPING is a serious issue in sport and Thailand has not been unaffected by this ugly side of competition. The Nuttapong Ketin doping case at the SEA Games earlier this year was seen as a great setback to Thai sport, which is feared could only be the tip of the iceberg.[12]

See also

Notes