Articles on Sport

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North Melbourne’s Majak Daw, the AFL’s first Sudanese-born player, has been subjected to racial abuse from fans in his first few senior games. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL: Majak Daw shows we’ve come a long way on racism, but the journey is far from complete

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A young man playing for AFL club North Melbourne wows the majority of watchers with breathtaking football talent. But for a few observers, the colour…
Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in AFL broadcasts as can be seen in this shot from a match on Saturday, May 4, 2013. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Beer and chips protected species as sports ban healthy eating ads

The Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia have refused to sell advertising space to a Tasmanian man trying to raise awareness of the impact of junk food and alcohol advertising linked…
Gai Waterhouse and John Singleton in happier times: their acrimonious split and subsequent stewards’ inquiry has typified the culture of Sydney. AAP/Paul Miller

A trainer, a bookie and a ‘drunk’: the Waterhouse saga simply screams Sydney

The Gai Waterhouse-John Singleton horse racing imbroglio has the feel of fiction. Its cast of characters could easily spring from the treatment for a new Underbelly series or the pages of a Peter Corris…
As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. AAP/David Crosling

Drugs in sport saga: do the fans really care?

When the drugs in Australian sport investigation was announced in early February, much was made of the importance of protecting fans from the actions of wrongdoers. But here we are, three months into this…
Brendan Fevola was followed by controversy throughout his AFL career: would a ‘person formation’ focus in team sport culture have helped him? AAP/Dave Hunt

‘Culture’ in team sport: corporate speak or vital for success?

The inventive English journalist Dave Hill (who is as comfortable writing about politics and culture as he is about sport) published a book, Out of His Skin, in 1989 dealing with - among other things…
The Western Sydney Wanderers have had a ‘fairytale’ debut season in the A-League - but does this say more about how the league is run than the team itself? AAP/Dean Lewins

The A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers: the fairytale in context

Western Sydney Wanderers’ inaugural A-League season is the feel-good sports story of the year. The team is undefeated in 13 matches, won the league (generally regarded as the “real” championship in soccer…
The Herald Sun has described fans of A-League soccer club Melbourne Victory as ‘soccer hooligans’, a label many fans feel is unfair. AAP/Martin Philbey

‘Soccer hooligans’ of the Herald Sun’s making

In 2011, I attempted to warn then-Victorian Police Superintendent Rod Wilson and Australian soccer’s governing body, Football Federation Australia, from “amplifying the actions of a few unruly football…
Fans of English soccer club Brighton & Hove Albion have faced constant homophobic taunts over the years - and they’ve had enough. rockjimford

Soccer and homophobia: why even homophobes are sick of it

It’s been an ugly week in English soccer. Up north, outrage of many persuasions flowed around Paolo Di Canio’s politics. Down south, supporters from Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion presented…
There may be “health risks” associated with GW501516, but what are they? Hannibal/EPA

Anti-doping agency warns cheats on the health risks of Endurobol

This article was updated on April 12, 2013, and includes responses from WADA and GSK. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has taken the unusual step of warning athletes about the health risks of the banned…
In the debate on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, what should we consider an unfair advantage? www.shutterstock.com

Drugs in sport: what constitutes ‘unfair advantage’?

At the heart of growing concern about performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport is the very basic matter of sport as an even contest. As Roy and H.G. used to put it, no one is particularly interested…
Sports journalists don’t always have the resources to break major crime stories. AAP/Joe Castro

Don’t blame sports journalists for missing corruption scandal

The cheating scandal that has ostensibly bewildered those in command of Australia’s elite sports could end up being the biggest story involving sport in history. Yet sport journalists, like the officials…
Coach of Essendon James Hird talks with assistant coach Mark Thompson in 2011. AAP/Martin Philbey

Essendon scandal a symptom of Australia’s sporting woes

The Australian Crime Commission report released last week, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, claims Australian sport, especially at the professional level, has a serious drug use problem. According to…
Sports Minister Kate Lundy at the release of the ACC report into organised crime and sport in Australia. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Drugs in the sporting workplace

Sport administrators, employers, policy makers, sponsors, parents and sport fans are understandably scratching their heads right now, as to the facts underpinning claims of corruption and crime in Australian…
Australian sport was supposed to be clean. What went wrong? AAP/Lukas Coch

Drugs, crime and ball games: how Aussie sport got crooked

The Australian Crime Commission report, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, has come as a hammer blow to Australian sport. According to a review of cycling released only last month, Australia is supposed…
Are displays of emotion from sportspeople about convincing us that it’s not just about the money? fox2mike/flickr

It’ll end in tears: why athletes cry and what it means

Any major sporting triumph without euphoric emotion or a serious opening of the floodgates would seem strange. Commentators tell us that tears show “passion”. Fans seem to demand them. It wasn’t always…
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga thinks women’s tennis is affected by their unstable emotions. AAP/Joe Castro

Azarenka, Tsonga and the sexism that chokes women’s tennis

Two interesting and intersecting events occurred at the Australian Open this week. First, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga questioned women’s ability to control their emotions while playing tennis at a press…
Questions have arisen over the cause of Victoria Azarenka’s extended break during her semi-final match. AAP/Joe Castro

Panic stations: Azarenka’s ‘extended break’ and the science of choking

A controversial extended medical break taken by tennis world number one Victoria Azarenka after losing five match points in her match against Sloane Stephens has raised the issue of “choking” in sport…
Lleyton Hewitt went down in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open last night. AAP/Julian Smith

Letting go: why athletes play on past their prime

Any hopes that Lleyton Hewitt could revisit past glories in his 2013 Australian Open campaign were dashed last night when he lost in straight sets to Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic. It now seems impossible…

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