Sports Corruption Should Be Civil And Not Criminal

These stories were interesting. In Soccer, there is a scandal where some players or referees were fixing the result of matches. In MLB, the Biogenesis clinic allegedly gave steroids to baseball players. The government is now investigating both of those cases.

If a professional athlete fixes a match, is that a crime? He isn’t injuring anyone or stealing, other than from people dumb enough to bet on the game. It’s a breach of his contract with the league rather than a crime.

Similarly, steroids use is not a crime. The only injured people are other players who didn’t take steroids, who are now at a competitive disadvantage. The steroid users are breaking their contract with the league.

There is one advantage of having the government investigate. The government has subpoena power. However, it’s an indirect subsidy of sports leagues, when the government helps investigate sports leagues. Tax money is spent helping the sport fight its corruption problem.

I don’t see a solution in a really free market. The gamblers or steroids sellers don’t have any contractual relationship with the league, so there’s no basis for the league to compel them to do anything. It’s the league’s own problem, if they can’t police their own players.

When there is corruption in sports, that is civil and not criminal. The main problem is that the athletes broke their contract with the league, rather than them being criminals. When the government investigates sports corruption, they’re using tax money to indirectly subsidize the league.

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