How can we precisely define cheating in sports? It does not appear sufficient to say that any instance of willful rule-breaking in sports counts as cheating. For instance, no one would say that one basketball player who fouls another is "cheating," even though there is an obvious sense in which that player is breaking the rules.
The difficulty seems to consist in the fact that practically all sports infractions have corresponding penalties (such as opponent free throws) built into the rules of the game. It isn't obvious how we're to distinguish banal infractions, such as fouling a player in basketball, from obvious cases of cheating, such as blood doping in competitive cycling. If a cyclist has his title revoked after being caught doping (or if he is fined, or is banned from future races, or whatever), what would prevent us from saying that his infraction was accounted for by the rules of cycling in the same way as fouls are accounted for in basketball, and that it therefore did not constitute cheating?
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