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Original articles  Epidemiology 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2002 September;42(3):354-9

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Combating drug use in competitive sports. An analysis from the athletes’ perspective

Striegel H., Vollkommer G., Dickhuth H. H.

From the Medical Clinic and Policlinic Department of Sports Medicine University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany


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Background. Doping has devel­oped ­into a wide­spread prob­lem in com­pet­i­tive and ­high-per­for­mance ­sports due to increas­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ism in, and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of ­sports. In con­trast, gov­ern­ments and ­sports organ­iza­tions ­have lim­it­ed finan­cial resourc­es to sup­port all com­pet­i­tive ­sports. Therefore, fur­ther improve­ment of ­anti-dop­ing meas­ures can ­only be ­achieved ­through the inclu­sion and ­active par­tic­i­pa­tion of the ath­letes them­selves.
Methods. In ­this ­study, 101 German ath­letes who are sub­ject to nation­al and inter­na­tion­al ­anti-dop­ing ­tests ­were ­asked if dop­ing in ­sports ­should be com­bat­ed, and ­which ­anti-dop­ing meas­ures ­appeared effec­tive ­from an ­athlete’s per­spec­tive.
Results. Ninety-­eight ­point ­zero two per ­cent of ­those ­ques-­tioned ­felt ­that meas­ures ­should be tak­en ­against dop­ing in ­sports. Improved meth­ods of detec­tion and ­more infor­ma­tion on the ­health ­risks ­were ­favored, as ­opposed to ­more ­severe pun­ish­ments. In addi­tion, ­more ­than two ­thirds of the ath­letes sup­port­ed the intro­duc­tion of an ­anti-dop­ing law. The ­desire for ­more fre­quent ­drug test­ing was ­also ­expressed, ­despite the dis­tinct inva­sion of the ­athletes’ pri­va­cy.
Conclusions. An ­anti-dop­ing law, as request­ed by the ath­letes, ­should ­include meas­ures for edu­cat­ing the pub­lic ­about the ­health ­risks ­involved ­with dop­ing. In addi­tion, ­such a law ­would ­also ­make it pos­sible to devel­op suit­able meth­ods of detec­tion.

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