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, numerous studies report athletes to be more religious than nonathletes (See: Sports performance: Religious faith vs. atheism ).

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

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."

Atheist controlled mainland China and doping of Olympic athletes

China has the world's largest atheist population.[3][4] China practices state atheism (see: China and atheism).

China has the world's largest atheist population.[5][6]

The German news website Deutsche Welle (DW) reported:

A former doctor has revealed the massive extent of doping of Chinese Olympic athletes during the 1980s and 1990s. The whistleblower has claimed more than 10,000 athletes were doped in the state-backed program.[7]

The Telegraph declared about communist 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”.[8]

Atheistic Soviet Union and the doping of Olympic athletes

Soviet sports was riddled with steroid use.[9]

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.[10]

East Germany and doping of Olympic 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.[11]

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.[12]

North Korea and unsportsmanship conduct in the Olympics

North Korea practices state atheism and belief in God is actively discouraged.[13]

North Korea practices state atheism and belief in God is actively discouraged.[14] Open Doors, an organization based in the United States, has put North Korea at the very top of its list of countries where Christians face significant persecution - for 12 years in a row.[15]

In June of 2016, the International Weightlifting Federation stripped one men's and one women's entry place each from North Korea to the Olympics due to "multiple positive cases" of doping during the qualifying period.[16][17]

International Gymnast Magazine reported on November 5, 2010:

North Korea is suspended from international competition until October 2012 for age falsification and false registration, the International Gymnastics Federation announced Friday.

As IG reported in September, North Korean gymnast Hong Su Jong's birth year has appeared over the years as 1985, 1986 and 1989. For the 2010 World Championships, the North Korean federation submitted Hong's birth year as 1989, meaning she was underage at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

On Oct. 5, the FIG's Disciplinary Commission provisionally suspended the North Korean federation for 30 days, leaving the country out of October's world championships in Rotterdam. North Korea appealed but the FIG upheld the suspension, stating the federation's offered excuses for the varying birth dates were not credible.

Hong's case is the second age falsification offense for North Korea. The North Korean women were banned from the 1993 World Championships after the FIG discovered gymnast Kim Gwang Suk had been registered as being 15 from 1989-1991.[18]

Kim Jong-su won a silver medal in 50 metre pistol and a bronze medal in 10 metre air pistol. However, he was later disqualified for doping and then stripped of both medals.[19]

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.[20]

See also

Notes

  1. Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions
  2. The Problem with Lance Armstrong’s Religion—and how Hugh Jackman’s Silver Candlesticks can help
  3. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  4. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  5. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  6. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  7. Doping of Chinese athletes in Olympic Games revealed by former doctor, DW
  8. Athletics world records blow as Wang Junxia 'admits' being part of Chinese state-sponsored doping regime
  9. Soviet Doping Widespread, Report Says : Magazine Claims Athletes Had Secret Lab Near Seoul
  10. Soviet Doping Widespread, Report Says : Magazine Claims Athletes Had Secret Lab Near Seoul
  11. Forgotten victims of East German doping take their battle to court
  12. Forgotten victims of East German doping take their battle to court
  13. Elizabeth Raum. North Korea. Series: Countries Around the World. Heinemann, 2012. ISBN 1432961330. p. 28: «North Korea is an atheist state. This means that people do not pray in public or attend places of worship. Buddhist temples exist from earlier times. They are now preserved as historic buildings, but they are not used for worship. A few Christian churches exist, but few people attend services. North Koreans do not celebrate religious holidays.»
  14. Elizabeth Raum. North Korea. Series: Countries Around the World. Heinemann, 2012. ISBN 1432961330. p. 28: «North Korea is an atheist state. This means that people do not pray in public or attend places of worship. Buddhist temples exist from earlier times. They are now preserved as historic buildings, but they are not used for worship. A few Christian churches exist, but few people attend services. North Koreans do not celebrate religious holidays.»
  15. Repressive, atheist North Korea has a surprising relationship with Christian missionaries
  16. "Strong statement by the IWF Executive Board", International Weightlifting Federation, 22 June 2016. 
  17. Rio 2016 Weightlifting – List of Athletes by Bodyweight Category (pdf). International Weightlifting Federation.
  18. FIG Suspends North Korea for Two Years, International Gymnast Magazine, November 5, 2010
  19. Olympics: Korean double medallist expelled for drug use, The Guardian, August 15, 2008
  20. The ugly side of running in Thailand: Age category doping