StarTalk Sports Edition’s photo of host Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, Gary O'Reilly, Chuck Nice.
StarTalk Sports Edition’s photo of host Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, Gary O'Reilly, Chuck Nice.

Cheating in Sports

StarTalk Sports Edition host Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-hosts, Gary O'Reilly, Chuck Nice.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice investigate cheating in sports. Why does cheating happen? Who is susceptible to cheat? Can cheating ever be fully stopped? 

To start, we’re joined by Dr. Lee Igel, PhD, Associate Professor at the NYU Tisch Institute of Global Sport. Lee’s research includes medical ethics and sports business and we dive right into where those two areas intersect. Can there be cheating in a team doctor’s office? Lee tells us why professional sports team doctors are under enormous pressure to make sure players stay healthy or come back from injury quickly. 

We investigate how governing bodies in sports can enforce sanctions on cheating when the organizations themselves are corrupt. You’ll hear how creating culture in a sports organization can entice players to cheat. If everyone is cheating, do you have an ethical responsibility not to cheat, or, do you have a team responsibility not to fall behind? We explore steroid use in professional baseball and football and Lance Armstrong’s decision to cheat during the Tour de France. 

Next, we are joined by Lisa Shu, PhD, Behavioral Scientist and Organizational Psychologist at the London Business School. Lisa explains us why cheaters are made, not born. Discover why cheaters do not consider themselves to be cheating. Neil enlightens us on the mathematical concept of renormalization. We break down loopholes. We debate the difference between cheating and innovation. You’ll also hear if cheating is a random act or if it comes in a recognizable patter. Lisa shares with us the most effective ways to stop cheating. 

We ask: are designer babies cheating? We ponder if alerting the world of cheating creates a new world with “better” cheaters. Lastly, you’ll find out if there’s such a thing as “cheating tied to a greater good.” All that, plus, Lisa tells us if we can ever cure sports of cheating.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

CLARIFICATION: In this episode, it was inaccurately stated that Flo Jo said “Yes I’m sorry I cheated.” Florence Joiner never said that.

In This Episode

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