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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2001 September;54(3):229-33

language: Italian

Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards doping and food supplementation in a sample of athletes of central-southern Italy

La Torre G. 1, Limongelli F. 2, Masala D. 1, D'Acunto M. 2, Maddalena F. 1, Perna P. 1, Brancaccio P. 2, Della Pietra A. 2, Fioretti L. 2, Ricciardi G. 1

1 Cattedra di Igiene, Università degli Studi, Cassino;
2 Cattedra e Servizio di Medicina dello Sport, Seconda Università degli Studi, Napoli


In order to evaluate knowledge, attitude and behaviour of Italian athletes on doping, a survey was carried out in Central-Southern Italy, before the implementation of the new Italian anti-doping law. A questionnaire was submitted in the regions Lazio and Campania, between June and December 2000, to amateur athletes of the following sports: athletics, football, cycling, swimming, basket, handball, volley, boxing, martial sports. 1056 athletes (16-35 years of age) entered the study (660 males and 396 females).
Doping is considered widespread at high-level sport by 27.8% of the partecipants, at all levels by 11.3%, illegal by 40.9%, carrier of some health risk by 26% of the responders. 16.5% of the athletes declares the use of aminoacids and/or creatine. The use of illicit drugs is considered useful and whithout risks by 11.3% of the partecipants, dangerous but useful for improving performance by 4.3%, a dangerous and avoidable practice by 83.1% of the responders. 28.6% of the athletes considers acceptable the use of drugs, in order to improve the performance, and 14.8 and 13.3% should make personal use, for improving the performance or for winning, respectively. The results of the survey show the importance of doping at the amateur level, and suggest to implement, as soon as possible, preventive measures at the national level, within the school activities on health education.

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