Why are professional players allowed in some sports at the olympics and not others? Isn't the Olympics supposed to be for amateur non professional athletes only? Basketball for example, some teams are largely made up of amateur players others have NBA players in their line up, why is this allowed in some sports at the olympics and not in others? In other sports if an athlete accepts sponsorships their classed as professional and no longer allowed to compete, this doesn't seem fair especially as they take the place of hard working amateur athletes who make allot of sacrifices to be where they are especially financially.
Answer by dunfiddlin · Jul 31, 2012 at 10:14 AM
In fact there is only one sport in the Olympics that does not accept professional players and that is boxing. This is purely for the safety of the competitors. Otherwise there is no distinction made at all between professional, semi-professional and amateur players. The only limit on entry is ability and that is as it should be
The amateur 'ideal' was abandoned as totally impractical at the 1988 competition as it had become increasingly clear that it was near impossible for athletes to maintain the highest standards while retaining amateur status. In fact, many countries such as the USSR and China had for many years had full-time players even if, technically, they were not actually paid to be so, and clearly had a major advantage as a result (although at that time Chinese athletes were often instructed to underperform!). Far from stealing the places of amateur athletes the change of policy was designed entirely to make sure that those who were good enough to compete were not prevented by the cost (both personal and financial) of doing so.