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A Journal on Sports Medicine


Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2015 September;68(3):447-60

language: English, Italian

Toward (more) effective antidoping policy in sports: what should we target in antidoping efforts?

Zaletel P. 1, Veršić Š. 2, Perić M. 3, Zenić N. 3, Sekulić D. 3, Kondrič M. 1

1 Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana Slovenia;
2 Football Club Split, Split, Croatia;
3 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia


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AIM: There is a substantial lack of research investigating the factors that should be targeted in doping prevention. The aim of this study was to evaluate factors associated to potential doping behaviour in college-level-athletes, students of sport-science.
METHODS: The sample comprised of 60 female and 129 male athletes from Croatia and Slovenia. We administered an anonymous self-report questionnaire probing the following topics: 1) socio-demographic information, religiosity, sports, and substance use and misuse;2) knowledge about doping and doping-side effects; and 3) factors of hesitation on doping behaviour; including health-, social-, and sports-related consequences of doping habits.
RESULTS: A Mann-Whitney test revealed that females tended to worry more about negative consequences of doping behaviours than their male peers. The logistic regression indicated lower likelihood of doping behaviour for those girls who are more worried about “church condemnation” (Odds Ratio: 0.664; Confidence Interval: 0.465-0.947) and “bad image in media” (Odds Ratio: 0.571; Confidence Interval: 0.339-0.961) as a result of revealed doping behavior.
CONCLUSION: Both genders were mostly concerned with health-related side effects of doping; social- and sports-related consequences appeared to be less important factors related to hesitation of doping usage. Apart from a few study limitations (e.g., use of self-report, a relatively small stratified sample of subjects, a sample with twice as many males as females), we believe that the results presented could be useful in the development of effective anti-doping programs. We indicate areas where future research is needed.

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