Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The Moral Pathologies of National Sporting Representation at the Olympics

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-06, 14:47 authored by Hywel Iorwerth, Carwyn Jones, Alun Hardman

 Nationality, citizenship and eligibility have become increasingly relevant in sport, especially under current conditions where there is an increasing number of players who change their ‘allegiances’ for international sporting purposes. Whilst it is reasonable to link such trends to wider processes of globalisation and accelerated migratory flows, it is also evident that national sporting representation is subject to the venal power of commercialism. The concern is that national representation has developed into a more strategic, planned, and economically driven activity that involves the overt collusion of National Governing Bodies and individual athletes. This paper evaluates the moral status of current international sporting representation (ISR) rules and practices as they relate to the Olympics. By drawing on de Coubertin’s notion of ‘sincere internationalism’ and Walsh and Guilianotti’s (2007) work on hyper-commercialisation in sport, we will attempt to demonstrate how some of the current practices and regulations of ISR are ethically problematic. We conclude that current ISR regulations are drawn too loosely and need to be amended in order to limit the moral pathologies identified. Our critique is informed by empirical data collected from members of the Welsh sports practice community. 


Published in

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy


Taylor & Francis


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Iorwerth, H., Jones, C., & Hardman, A. (2012) 'The moral pathologies of national sporting representation at the Olympics', Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 6(2), 267-288.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Carwyn Jones Alun Hardman

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Philosophy and Ethics in Sport

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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