Department of Sport management, Faculty of Physical Education, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran
Introduction: Today, collusion in sports has caused a lot of damage to athletes, clubs and their sponsors; if it can be explicitly acknowledged that the sports industry is facing the threat of losing its credibility (Kihl et al., 2017). Therefore, the purpose of research was to identify strategies that help prevent collusion.
Methods: This research was in terms of development-exploratory method and in terms of applied purpose which was carried out using qualitative content analysis. The participants of the study were 9 experts including two researchers, five coaches and a national athlete and a sports reporter who were aware of the phenomenon of collusion in Iranian sports. These individuals were selected by purposive sampling method and semi-structured interviews were conducted with them. The interviews were analyzed in three stages: initial coding, code aggregation, and categorization. To increase the validity of the findings, four criteria of reliability, stability, verifiability and transferability of the findings were considered. The reliability of the encodings was also confirmed with a Scott coefficient of 87.5.
Results: The interview coding resulted in 103 initial codes, which were finalized by merging similar codes to 30 final codes. According to these codes, strategies to prevent collusion in sports in the form of 7 categories, including "procedural transparency", "creating a regulatory structure", "deterrent legal rules", "promoting professional commitment", "education", " "Intelligence activities" and "Improving the financial situation of key actors" were categorized.
Conclusion: According to the findings, prevention of collusion requires establishment of strong regulatory structures and development of laws that increase the negative consequences of collusion in relation to the benefits received from it. In this regard, transparency and intelligence activities can expose the gangs behind the scenes to prevent collusion. Training and promoting professional commitment also increases the belief that collusion is corrupt among key actors, and improving their financial conditions reduces their financial inclination to collude.