Ethical issues in sport discussed at AIT seminar

Paralympian Mark Rohan, Dr Mary McDonnell Naughton, Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Una May, Aoife Lane, Ruth Wood-Martin, Kieran Down, Jim Maguire, Geraldine Drumm, and Anthony Cunningham

Paralympian Mark Rohan, Dr Mary McDonnell Naughton, Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, Professor Niall Moyna, Dr Una May, Aoife Lane, Ruth Wood-Martin, Kieran Down, Jim Maguire, Geraldine Drumm, and Anthony Cunningham

A sport seminar held and organised by AIT recently probed a number of key ethical issues that we are facing in sport today and the impact of these issues on the various stakeholders in the industry.

Drugs in sport, sponsors role in the ethics of sport, ethical considerations of genetics, transhumanism, and children turning away from sport were among the topics explored by top names in the sporting industry at AIT on Thursday, May 11.

The keynote address was given by professor Niall Moyna, head of school of health and human performance and a member of the Centre for Preventative Medicine in DCU.

Discussing drugs in sport today, Professor Moyna said: “They are a huge problem when you talk about sport. The athletes are always one step ahead, sometimes two or three, but technology is now catching up with drug cheats.”

Dr Moyna also discussed an area of personal concern within the space, therapeutic exemptions, and added that he felt that it is an area that needs to be addressed.

He also highlighted the key developments that are taking place in genetics, which are fast becoming ethical issues that are going to be far greater than previous generations.

“If you are given a genetic predisposition, should you be punished for this? You can’t put in what God left out,” he said.

He concluded his talk by discussing the biggest ethical issue that is facing the sporting sector - children being turned off sport. Professor Moyna added that as adults we have a responsibility to get children engaged in sports.

Key speakers also included head of nutrition with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU ), Ruth Wood-Martin, who gave a talk on ‘Ethics in Sports Nutrition facing Practitioners and Athletes’; director of participation and ethics with Sports Ireland, Dr Una May, spoke about ‘Ethics in Sport - a changing world’; Dr Bill Cuddihy spoke about problems encountered by sports medical practitioners; Patrick O’Connor, solicitor and board member of Sport Ireland and Connacht Rugby, spoke about ‘How you play the Game’. Paralympian Mark Rohan also addressed the event.

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