Doping and supplementation: the attitudes of talented young athletes

A.J. Bloodworth, A. Petróczi, R. Bailey, Gemma Pearce, M.J. McNamee

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    Abstract

    There is evidence of a small but significant proportion of adolescents engaging in doping practices. Young athletes face very specific pressures to achieve results as they strive for a career at an elite level. This study used an anonymized questionnaire to survey 403 (12–21 years old) talented young athletes' attitudes toward performance-enhancing substances and supplements. Two-thirds of the sample comprised males. Athletes were generally against the use of doping substances to enhance sporting performance. Within this generally unfavorable view, males tended to express a more permissive attitude toward performance-enhancing methods than females. Those convinced of the necessity of supplementation for sporting success were also more likely to express permissive attitudes. When asked whether they would take a “magic” drug that, while undetectable, would significantly enhance performance, the overwhelming majority of athletes said “no,” but many thought others would take the substance. Interestingly, there was a significant association between the projected use of the hypothetical drug by competitors and the individual respondent's willingness to take the hypothetically “magic” substance. The study offers an insight into young athletes' attitudes toward specific forms of performance enhancement, and the strength of their beliefs in the face of a tempting hypothetical scenario. Publisher statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bloodworth, A.J. , Petróczi, A. , Bailey, R. , Pearce, G. and McNamee, M.J. (2012) Doping and supplementation: the attitudes of talented young athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, volume 22 (2): 293–301, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01239.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293–301
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bloodworth, A.J. , Petróczi, A. , Bailey, R. , Pearce, G. and McNamee, M.J. (2012) Doping and supplementation: the attitudes of talented young athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, volume 22 (2): 293–301, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01239.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms).

    Keywords

    • performance-enhancing substances
    • anti-doping
    • doping
    • enhanced appearance

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