Several professional athletes and a reporter have received nominations for the first-ever Noble Purpose Sports Integrity Awards.
The University of New Haven Sports Integrity Center, which combats rampant corruption, doping, abuse, and match-fixing in the sports world, has announced the finalists for the Center’s first Noble Purpose Sports Integrity Awards.
The award, which is given to “the individual who best represents the virtues of integrity and courage in the sports world,” was chosen by a panel of international advisors – including Dexerto’s Richard Lewis, who was selected for his work on match-fixing and corruption in esports.
Others on the selection committee include three-time Olympian Nancy Hogshead-Makar, World Champion Kick Boxer Caradh O’Donovan, and Professor Manase Kudzai Chiweshe, all of whom have devoted their careers to protecting athletes and exposing predatory practices in the sporting world.
The three nominees chosen by the committee include two prominent athletes who have taken a stand for human rights abuses and a reporter who exposed the doping scandal in Russian Olympic sports.
Enes Kanter Freedom is a former NBA player who gained notoriety for his criticism of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his government’s corruption as well as Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his human rights abuses of the Uyghur and Tibetan people.
As a result of these criticisms, Kanter was released from his contract with the Portland Trailblazers in 2021, claiming it was done to appease the Chinese state.
Peng Shuai is a female tennis player who accused a Chinese senior official of sexually assaulting her in 2018.
After sharing her story, social media posts about Peng were blocked in China, and she has been keep effectively isolated under house arrest.
Finally, professor Richard McLaren is a sports investigator who penned the McLaren Report, which revealed state-sponsored and rampant doping of Russian Olympic athletes, as well as subversion of drug testing procedures during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
McLaren has also done extensive work on other sports scandals, such as corruption in the International Weightlifting Federation, and match-fixing of Olympic boxing matches during the 2016 Rio de Janiro Summer Olympics.
The award will be presented to one of the three finalists on Thursday, September 22.
In addition, the committee will award the “Anti-Noble Purpose Award to the government in the world whose actions have demonstrated the worst principles in the sports world.”