Sport: Cracking Down on the Payoffs

To be eligible for participation in the Olympic Games, a competitor must not have received any financial rewards or material benefit in connection with his or her sports participation.

—International Olympic Committee Eligibility Code

"Even amateurs have to eat. " —U.S. track star

For years, the gap between rhetoric and reality in international amateur athletics has bred hypocrisy and, periodically, scandal. While demanding lip service to an impracticable ideal, the amateur system has left American athletes to fend for themselves in a degrading world of under-the-table payoffs and over-the-table handouts. To support themselves during...

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