Unit 7 Paper and Powerpoint



The Effects of Performance Drugs Usage on Decision Making of Superstar Professional Athletes

Trae’Von Clavo

Belhaven University

MSA 670

Dr. Woods



This Final Capstone Paper Project includes the unit’s writing from the entire course. My approved sport administration issue in my sport administration field was “The Effects of Performance Drugs Usage on Decision Making of Superstar Professional Athletes’’. As per the direction, all the topics for my Capstone Paper Projects for all the units correlated with this approved sport administration issue. The covered areas include the ‘‘The Value of Education in Your Sports Organization’’, ‘‘The Value of Understanding Current Issues and Trends in Sports Organization’’, ‘‘Leadership and Sports Ethics in Sports Organizations’’, ‘‘High-Performance Teamwork and the Success of Sports Organization’’, ‘‘The Value of Advanced Organized Leadership in a Sports Organization’’, ‘‘The Impact of Sports Finance and Budgeting in a Sports Organization’’, ‘‘The Ethics of Strategic Leadership in a Sports Organization’’. ‘‘The Importance of Understanding Current Issues in Human Resources of a Sports Organization’’, ‘‘How Will You Impact or Incorporate a Christian Worldview within the Parameters of an Existing of Future Sports Organization’’, and ‘‘Personal Reflections on Your Master of Sports Administration Academic Journey: From Bachelor’s Degree to Master’s Degree’’, respectively. In the following sections, I present my findings.


I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues who have reviewed the text and offered comprehensive feedback and suggestions for the material’s improvement. Since you are very many and you know yourselves, I have named and inscribed you in my hearts.

I also acknowledge my professor, Dr. Woods, whom, despite his busy schedule, was always there to guide me on how to go about the Project. Your kind, well-intentioned, and valuable contributions are highly appreciated

Over the years, many Belhaven University graduates have worked on several projects that have had a significant positive contribution to the study of Sport Administration. It is from the knowledge and wisdom from these texts that informed and shaped my project. Thank you.

My parents, spouse, and children have a special place in my heart for having supported and encouraged me to complete the project.

Finally, I lack words to thank the Lord for His enduring gift of life and divine provision.


Cover page…………………………………………………………..….………………………1



Table of Contents………………………………………………………….…………….…….4


1.0. The Value of Education in Your Sports Organization

2.0. The Value of Understanding Current Issues and Trends in Sports Organization.

3.0. Leadership and Sports Ethics in Sports Organizations

4.0. High-Performance Teamwork and the Success of Sports Organization

5.0. The Value of Advanced Organized Leadership in a Sports Organization

6.0. The Impact of Sports Finance and Budgeting in a Sports Organization

7.0. The Ethics of Strategic Leadership in a Sports Organization

8.0. The Importance of Understanding Current Issues in Human Resources of a Sports Organization

9.0. How Will You Impact or Incorporate a Christian Worldview within the Parameters of an Existing of Future Sports Organization

10.0. Personal Reflections on Your Master of Sports Administration Academic Journey: From Bachelor’s Degree to Master’s Degree




The Sport Administration (& Management) field is increasingly becoming a highly lucrative and competitive profession. Sport administrators work with athletics and athletics organizations to improve sports programs. Graduates and undergraduates of sport administration can look forward to working as operations managers and other leaders in sports organizations like fitness clubs, local and international professional sports teams, college athletic departments, etc. Others may work as coaches and players’ agents. As managers, leaders, and administrators in sports organizations, they strive to create programs that would be beneficial and profitable to both the team and players, and ensure overall success both on and off the field. However, as sports organizations are increasingly facing several issues, sport administration graduates needs to understand, internalize, design and implement effective and appropriate strategies that would help solve such challenges.

There are several ethical challenges and dilemmas currently affecting the sports industry. For instance, the issue of athletics – from amateurs to superstar professional athletes – usage of doping substances and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) is significantly on the rise. Thus, PEDs usage amongst athletes has become highly controversial, and has attracted significant levels of ethical disapproval. As an ethical issue in sports administration, PEDs are risky to the athletes health-wise, and have significantly lowered sports integrity, sports spirit, and professional. Thus my approved sport administration issue in my sport administration field was “The Effects of Performance Drugs Usage on Decision Making of Superstar Professional Athletes’’. I will discuss all the areas related to this assigned topic in the next sections.

1.0. The Value of Education in Your Sports Organization

Generally, being a superstar professional athlete comes with many opportunities. Apart from the huge salaries and media attention they receive, most of these athletes also act as brand ambassadors for many organizations and receive enormous compensations and favors. To many youths, superstar athletes are role models who need to be emulated at all costs. We live in a society that is significantly attracted to sports and views it as a form of escapism. Thus, our society perceives athletes as role models for everyone in the community. However, since no one is perfect, these superstar athletes can serve as good and bad role models (Riley, 2017). Additionally, being a superstar athlete also comes with the pressure to win at all costs. Thus, the athletes' heightened use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) has become an endemic ethical problem in our societies. Thus, the appropriate sports education may help solve the problem.

Several athletes have, in the recent past, been caught or admitted using PEDs. Andre Agassi, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Maria Sharapova, Ben Johnson, Ekaterina Bobrova, etc. are just some of the superstar professional athletes who have been implicated in the PEDs usage scandal (Jussim, 2020; CBC News, 2016). The PEDs are prohibited drugs or substances that enhance any form of human performance by boosting their muscle strength and power and aiding in its quick recovery. Although such effects are beneficial at face value, their usage has elicited several ethical and professional sports issues. PEDs may unfairly help an athlete win in a competition over competitors who have not used them. Such an occurrence is against the sport's values of fair play, professionalism, and sportsmanship. Additionally, several health issues exist related to PEDs' usage (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2019). Finally, if caught, an athlete’s career may just end like that.

Despite all the aforementioned consequences, the athletes’ use of PEDs is continually on the rise. Consequently, having the athletes undergo a sports values education and training may be a valuable solution for the problem. Sports managers, administrators, educationists, etc. can play a critical role in information these superstar professional athletes that PEDs are a threat to their health and careers and society's wellbeing. Contemporaneously, it is commonplace that an athletic superstar who has meteorically risen into the apex of the sports, with fans marveling at their agility, quickness, and strength, have in the next instant been brought to a screeching halt due to PEDs' usage. Generally, the PEDs' usage accusations would be followed by investigations, probations, suspensions, and under the worst-case scenario, suspensions, and expulsions from the sports (Northwestern University, 2015).

For many athletes, the usage of PEDs despite its risks is a calculated risk, i.e., these athletes are just gamblers. They have to evaluate not only its benefits and downsides but also the risk of being caught. However, the winner bias and the need for extra cash and fame drive most athletes to decide to use PEDs. Thus, good values and PEDs education should be holistic in that it should cover the drugs' effects on athletes, sports, and society. Without education, many athletes would be consumed with the potent and addictive drive to be victorious over a defeated opponent and the glory that comes with it, rather than following the overriding sports notions of fair play and sportsmanship. The education helps professional athletes understand that their fervent pursuit for victory would ultimately and significantly compromise their ability to make the appropriate decision (Whitman, 2007). Additionally, they should be made to understand that the drugs threaten the millions of children fans who view them as role models and the societal ideals of valorous pursuit of victory, hard work, and integrity. Without the appropriate values of education, it will be difficult to prevent the vice.

2.0. The Value of Understanding Current Issues and Trends in Sports Organization

Sports ethics are very integral to any sporting activity. Values like strong work ethics, integrity, sportsmanship, and general ethical conduct or behavior remain at the individual athletes' apex and professional teams' goals. However, when the athletes fail to live up to the ethical expectations, they are likely to be recipients of immense public ire and league penalties. Several ethical issues are increasingly taking traction in sports, including the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by athletes. In every major sporting team and association, any athlete who has been found guilty of using any illegal performance-enhancing drug will likely face a diverse range of penalties, including fines, recall of awards, suspension, or even expulsion. Thus, as one of the sports administrators close to the athletes, athletics coaches have an integral role in preventing the use of such drugs.

Despite all these adverse consequences, many athletes still use doping drugs and related performance-enhancing substances. Several high profile athletes like Andre Agassi, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Maria Sharapova, Ben Johnson, Ekaterina Bobrova, etc. have either admitted or found guilty of using these drugs (CBC News, 2016). Annually, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) screens urine and blood samples from several hundreds of thousands of Olympic athletes. From these tests, up to 2% of them usually test positive for prohibited substances. However, it is projected that the number of actual cases could be significantly high (Specktor, 2018).

A successful sports administration and management career require that one understands the influence of ethics in professional sports. Sports managers must always be aware that if players break the ethical rules and guidelines, both the player and the team can face severe fines and penalties. Unfortunately, many athletes still use performance-enhancing drugs. PEDs can boost any form of activity performance in humans because they increase muscle mass and strength. In sports, athletes' use of doping and anabolic-androgenic steroids is banned since they could give a sportsperson an unfair advantage over the competitors who do not use them, and therefore, undermine sports values like teamwork and fair play. Additionally, performance-enhancing substances have also been determined to have various negative health consequences (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2019).

However, several superstar professional athletes are still factually or legally guilty for PEDs’ usage. Whitman (2007) argues that the society’s implicit approval of PEDs is a positive externality that has been effective in overshadowing the two negative externalities, i.e., the decrease in the level of confidence that the public has on the sports’ integrity and the PEDs’ negative effects on the nation’s youth. Thus, the author determines that PEDs’ usage in sports by professional athletes has become an endemic ethical crisis in the society instead of contributing towards the improvement in social welfare. The ‘‘winner bias’’ concerning PEDs’ usage by athletes has significantly clouded their judgment to an extent that they cannot accurately and appropriately realize the consequences of their decisions to the general society (Whitman, 2007). Thus, by trying to win at all cost and by all means, the athletes jeopardize the society’s wellbeing.

Athletics coaches have a significant role to play in managing the situation. First, whether they suspend the implicated athletes or release public statements against such acts, how they handle the cases significantly influences public perception. Secondly, coaches should engage the athletes in ethical values education (Balci & Erdeveciler, 2017). The coaches can engage the athletes in teaching and workshops where they can be trained on the fact that performance-enhancement drugs threaten their health, unfairly enhance performance, and violate the spirit of sportsmanship. They also play an integral role in sports ethics because of their immense ability to set and influence the team culture (STU, 2019). They should involve the players in open discussions to inform them that the use of the prohibited substances is unethical, immoral, unsportsmanlike, and illegal.

3.0. Leadership and Sports Ethics in Sports Organizations

Superstar professional athletes are imitated, admired, and revered by the youths in the society. However, the fortunes, fame, and notoriety also come with immense responsibility. Generally, whereas guardians and parents act as role models to their kids, the superstar professional athletes are deity-like heroes. Thus, although some of these athletes may deny that they do not have any accountability to the youths and the society, the fact is that they do. Ideally, if not realistically, sports figures need to portray integrity and honesty to the young people and the society because they owe them their stardom. It is the young people who tune-in for games, sit in the stadium seats, buy their jerseys etc.

Consequently, the athletic competition should be guided by the spirit of sportsmanship, fair play, and professionalism at every level. Sports competition should be about having a level playing field, spirit de corps, safe and productive training techniques, team values, and hard work (Mannie, 2018). Athletes should achieve a competitive edge and greatness over the others through God-given talents, physical and mental toughness, and perseverance in the most optimal and honorable way possible. Unfortunately, the contemporary sports competition has been more about the athlete who has used the best prohibited, dangerous chemicals to boost their performance. The use of performance enhancing drugs elicits a lot of ethical issues in sports competition at all levels. Thus, it is the responsibility of the sports management and administration, based on an ethical leadership, to inform the athletes about the dangers of PEDs’ usage. These prohibited drugs have left the legacies of some of the most prolific and highly talented athletes of this generation tainted with an asterisk suggesting their guilt for PEDs usage.

Ethical leaders will want to inform the athletes that about from destroying their career, legacy, and health, PEDs also destroys the lives of countless young people who, driven by the ‘‘winner bias’’ effect, would want to achieve greatness and all that comes with it at all cost. Perhaps, the best example of a leadership failure in curbing PEDs usage was during the Sochi Olympics in 2014 when Russia was alleged to have run a systematic doping program. The whistle-blower, Grigory Rodchenkov, who was the director of Russia’s anti-doping lab, confessed how the country developed and ran elaborate protocols and schemes to create PEDs and a plot to switch the implicated athlete’ urine samples to evade detection. The Russia’s case demonstrates just how states can sponsor far-reaching doping tactics to help their athletes win. The whistle-blower, who said that he also masterminded and participated in the program after being forced by high-profile and powerful people in the Russian government, apologized for the act, stating that the illegal and unethical actions denied hardworking and clean athletes from having a level playing field (Mannie, 2018).

Ethical sports leaders value integrity, honor, and fair competition. The type of leadership normally both resides within the leader because of their deeply-held beliefs and disseminates outward from them concerning their behavior and thoughts. Sports leaders demonstrate ethical leadership through normatively appropriate conduct via personal actions and interpersonal relations. They also demonstrate it through their promotion of such normatively-appropriate conducts to their followers through decision-making, reinforcement, and communication (Ibrahim, 2017). Athletes, coaches, physicians, team administrative staffs, governments, etc. should cooperate and marshal all their resources towards ensuring that the ethical issue of PEDs usage is completely remedied. Coaches, administrators, organizers, leaders, etc. are responsible for always being vigilant in ensuring the prompt detection of those who conspire to cheat the system.

4.0. High-Performance Teamwork and the Success of Sports Organization

Every athlete and sports team wants to emerge as the best side in any competition. Unfortunately, some superstar professional athletes get driven by the winner bias to an extent that they no longer care about the overall team success or the sports values. Such athletes want to win at any cost, even if it means using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to give them a competitive edge over their competitors. The greed for emerging winners in competitions, and the fortunes, notoriety, and fame that come with it have even driven some sports organizations and government to the point of masterminding doping schemes to give their athletes a competitive edge over their competitors. For instance, during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Russia was accused and found guilty for having masterminding such a systematic doping scheme (Mannie, 2018). However, the usage of PEDs by the superstar professional athletes will always have a negative consequence, to the athletes’ health, their career, and the societal wellbeing and welfare. It goes against the sports’ spirit and values of professionalism, fair play, sportsmanship. Additionally, even if they are not caught, the guilty-conscience will eternally reproach them.

PEDs usage can also affect teamwork amongst athletes. Ideally, athletes use the drugs to enable them primarily achieve personal success and glory, whereas the overall team success is a secondary goal. Thus, ensuring a team agility and resonance becomes very hard. Thus, a safer, holistic, and ethical alternative to PEDs usage is the building of high-performance team-work. The building of high-performance teamwork is critical for an agile winning team. High-performance teams need talented, skillful athletes and trust-based cooperative behavior amongst its members to ensure team success. Such teams are based on communication, trust, and clear vision, and responsible, skilled, and motivated team-members. Additionally, ethical leadership is also critical for high-performance teams because it helps set clear legal and ethical goals, standards, roles, and principles for everyone to follow.

Teams are an integral part of the sports organization’s culture. Team-base structures are the only component that can ensure organizations transform into agile high-performers, especially under the contemporary sports environment that is common with fast transformations and complexities. High-performance teams, although not very common, can help any sports organizations achieve what would otherwise seem extra-ordinary and unachievable (Hakanen, Häkkinen, & Soudunsaari, 2015). Sports teams, when built under high-performance ideals rather than PEDs usage, would help its members deliver an extra-ordinarily excessive performance that could not be reasonably expected compared to its competitors. In sports competitions where teamwork is required, such as rugby, soccer and football, having the best individuals, high-end facilities, extraordinary coaches, and more resources does not guarantee success. However, it is only those teams that can optimally combine its members’ insights, experiences, and skills and transform them into a high-performance team that can be sure of success (Afterburner, 2020). High-performance teams differ from the working groups, because under the latter, every team member will care about the group’s success. Thus, ethical and successful leaders must strive to develop such teams rather than let athletes cheat the system.

5.0. The Value of Advanced Organized Leadership in a Sports Organization

In the contemporary era where the usage of performance-enhancement drugs (PEDs) by athletes has broken the ceiling, sports organizations are desperate for measures that can be used to correct the problem, and by extension, preserve the spirit of sports. Advanced leadership is one of the measures.

Typically, most of the doping and PEDs usage cases currently being witnessed are an indirect or direct result of leadership failures. For instance, the Russia doping scandal during the 2014 Sochi Olympics was caused by athletes leaders’ irresoluteness to stand up for the sports values. The government-sponsored doping program significantly altered the past Olympics Games’ results. Thus, sports officials and athletes compromised on their principles to aid the widespread and state-sponsored doping scheme (Mannie, 2018). In 2016, anti-doping authorities drawn from about 20 countries voiced their concern for the deteriorating sports ethics, and called for a change in WADA’s leadership. Following a meeting held in Bonn, Germany, the officials repeated their recommendation that no anti-doping decision-maker should be allowed to hold a policy-making position or role within a sports organization to prevent or minimize the occurrence of cases of conflicts of interest with could arise when ‘‘…officials promote the Olympic brand while pursuing offenses that could tarnish it…’’ as had been witnessed during the Russian doping scandal (Ruiz, 2016). Thus, leaders should play a critical role in restoring the public’s confidence in the worldwide anti-doping system by establishing policies, controls and restraints to reform the currently corrupted system.

Advanced leadership is critical in any area of sports. As a behavioral process, leadership influences both individuals and groups towards the team’s set goal. The leader plays the dual function of ensuring that all the players are satisfied while simultaneously steering the individual and the entire team to a success (Sampla, 2014). Advanced leaders can influence and dissuade professional from using PEDs. Such a leadership is built on a solid foundation comprising of a clear mission and vision for the future, a specific strategy, and culture that is conducive to success (Rihal, 2017).

Specifically, advanced leaders value personal excellence, the proper attitude to realize maximum achievement, character and integrity as their life and leadership’s foundation, patience, effective and consistent communication, and creating the right culture for the team to thrive (Wolf Management Consultants, LLC., nd). Such character traits means that advanced leaders can successfully handle virtually every challenge. According to Ibrahim (2016), ‘‘[l]eadership constantly presents challenges both to the leader's abilities and a person, things and change; change brings challenge, and no matter how good a leader is, can't stop that from happening’’ (p.73). The challenges may come in the form of problems or people that presents obstacles to fulfill their mandate. The author continues to state that ‘‘[h[one handles those challenges will define one as a leader and have a great deal to do with how effective one can be’’ (p.73). Advanced leaders plays the frontline leadership role, and applies their existing or new skills and knowledge to ensure clearer communication, retain strong teams, understand and lead the teams, effectively resolve conflicts, and attain higher productivity (Ibrahim, 2016).

In the sports world, advanced leaders can play the management and leadership role. Apart from doing the tasks themselves, they can empower their subordinates to implement and achieve anti-doping goals. Additionally, the fights against PEDs usage is both complex and challenging, advanced leaders are well equipped to handle them because they can both cope with complexity and the changes (Ibrahim, 2016). Thus, advanced leadership is a valuable tool in the fight against PEDs. The leaders can collaborate with their team and one another to root out the vice. They are able to successfully adopt and enforce anti-doping regulations. As principled and resolute leaders, advanced leaders can help formulate and enforce strong policies to protect whistleblowers and ensure both comprehensive screening and the exclusion of corrupt system and officials from international competitions. Such leaders can also exercise their influence to halt the global doping network.

6.0. The Impact of Sports Finance and Budgeting in a Sports Organization

The usage of performance-enhancement drugs (PEDs) by superstar professional athletes and others continues to attract a lot of debate as a critical issue in sports values and ethics. Generally, PEDs such as doping substances is considered unethical and unhealthy for the athletes, the sports industry, and the society. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an internationally sports management and administration funded by the member-states, and which is responsible for the prevention of PEDs usage by athletes. In this paper, I will discuss the impacts of sports finance and budgeting in sports organizations, using the case of WADA.

The current world Anti-doping Code developed by WADA takes a tough approach to doping. WADA has for various occasions justified the approach by mainly advancing two justificatory arguments that the ‘‘protection of the spirit of sport warrants tough measures and, second, that athletes have voluntarily consented to the Code’’ (Geeraets, 2018). Athletes who have been determined to be guilty for first-time doping can be suspended for up to four years instead of the initial two years, and that the agency now relies on strict and vicarious liability standards. Based on the spirit of sport, there are about three criteria that the agency is committed to. The first criterion is the medical or related scientific evidence that the drug or method can produce the pharmacological effect or experience that can potentially enhance sports performance. Secondly, it also relies on the medical or related scientific evidence that …