Simon Kuper Simon Kuper

Bad sports, from the ancient Greeks to the present

All the horrors of modern sport, including cheating, drugs, violence and racism, have always existed, according to Wray Vamplew’s encyclopaedic history

Mosaic of gladiators in the ancient Greek city of Kourion, near Limassol, Cyprus. [Alamy]

Already a subscriber? Log in

This article is for subscribers only

Subscribe today to get 3 months' delivery of the magazine, as well as online and app access, for only £3.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

  • Weekly delivery of the magazine
  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Enjoy Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Explore our online archive, going back to 1828


A blooming good offer

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting the next 3 months for £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in