Football, horse racing and cycling are most dishonest sports, according to Brits | Middlesex University London
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Football, horse racing and cycling are most dishonest sports, according to Brits

20/05/2013
Football has topped a list of sports that people believe are blighted by cheating, with half of Brits saying that lack of fair play is having a negative impact on the Beautiful Game.

Football has topped a list of sports that people believe are blighted by cheating, with half of Brits saying that lack of fair play is having a negative impact on the Beautiful Game.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Middlesex University London discovered that the public were most concerned about cheating in football, horse racing (49%) and cycling (47%), with around half of those polled saying that lack of fair play is a problem in these sports. Conversely, only 7% said cheating was an issue in rugby.

Despite high profile athletes and swimmers being implicated in doping scandals, the sports fared much better than football, with one in four believing athletics was negatively impacted and only 6% focussing on swimming. Well publicised spot-fixing cases in cricket may have contributed to nearly one in three people (28%) stating that cheating is a problem.

The figures are released to coincide with Middlesex University's Fairness Conference, which opens on 21 May. Speakers from a range of disciplines will discuss fairness in today's society, with Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive Officer at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, taking on the issue of fairness in sport.

The poll quizzed respondents on their attitudes to a wide range of sports, asking which – if any – were negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating. Only 6% of people believed that cheating didn't negatively affect any of the listed sports.

The results were:

Which, if any, of the following sports do you think has been negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating?

* Football - 50% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Horse racing - 49% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Cycling - 47% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Cricket - 28% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Athletics - 25% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Boxing - 14% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Snooker - 10% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Rugby - 7% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* Swimming - 6% thought the sport was negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating
* None of these - 6% thought none of the sports were negatively affected by a lack of fair play or cheating

Middlesex University's Fairness Conference runs from 21-23 May and features presentations from speakers including economics commentator Will Hutton, human rights champion Bianca Jagger, Baroness Sharp of Guildford and Conservative MP John Redwood. The issue of fairness in areas from politics and the environment to health and social care will be debated.

Photo: Inkwina

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