And yet the athletes had competing interests. “Law, oaths, rules, vigilant officials, tradition, the fear of flogging, the religious setting of the games, a personal sense of honor – all these contributed to keep Greek athletic contests clean,” wrote Clarence A. Forbes, a professor of Classics at Ohio State University, in 1952. “And most of the thousands of contests over the centuries were clean.”
That said, ancient Greeks proved to be creative in their competitiveness. Some attempted to jinx athletes to prevent their success. According to Romano, “curse tablets could be found in athletic contexts.
For instance, strips of lead were inscribed with the curse, then folded up and placed in the floor at a critical part of the athletic facility.” continue