The Olympics are international sporting events that take place every four years. There are Summer and Winter Olympic events. All of the Olympic events are managed by the International Olympic Committee ("IOC"). The IOC runs the Olympics with a mission to promote fair and free athletic competitions in an ethical manner.
During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, one of the French judges on the judging panel for the pairs ice skating competition voted for the Russian team to win the gold medal. When confronted immediately after the event, the French judge indicated that she felt pressure to vote for the Russian team, which was awarded the gold medal for the competition. She initially stated that she voted the way she did because she was told by members of the French team that there would be a quid pro quo, that is, the Russian judge would then vote for the French team to win gold in the ice dancing competition.
Following the award of the medal in the pair`s competition, there was international outcry in the press and on social media because the silver medal Canadian duo had skated flawlessly whereas the Russian team had several flaws in its performance and this arrangement was publicized. After her initial statement, the French judge subsequently retracted her admission and publicly stated that she truly believed that the Russian team deserved the gold medal and had scored their performance correctly.
After learning of the possible quid pro quo between the two skating federations, The IOC, who is responsible for the judging as part of its management role, launched an investigation. However, the IOC quickly realized that it would be unable to clearly determine whether or not any actual rules had been violated after the French judge retracted her initial statement and both the French and Russian federations refused to cooperate with its investigation.
The IOC is now contemplating whether it should implement a change to the medals awarded and grant the Canadian team the gold medal.
If this action is taken, then the outcome of the pairs skating event would be that two gold medals (Russian and Canadian teams), no silver, and a bronze medal awarded instead of the traditional gold, silver and bronze medals.
If it chose to, the IOC could also nullify the entire results and declare no winners with no medals issued to any team, or decide to leave the results undisturbed.
1. Please explain what an ethical dilemma is and discuss what category/categories of ethical dilemma (hint - it is not quid pro quo) is found in these facts for the IOC. (In writing your answer please remember to choose from those listed in the text and slides.)
2. Provide an overview of the Laura Nash Model (as discussed in the text and lecture slides) and then apply it to these facts and use it to evaluate and determine the best potential course(s) of action for the identified dilemma(s) that IOC faces; and
3. Please discuss what the potential value is in building an ethical culture in an organization such as the IOC? Can you think of any general recommendations that you would make to the IOC to help prevent future similar occurrences from happening?