Experts warn of the need to control doping also in amateur athletes

February 17, 2017
A study led by the University of Granada (UGR) has shown that doping is not only a problem exclusive to professional sports, but also occurs in amateur sports. Credit: UGRdivulga

A study led by the University of Granada (UGR) has shown that doping is not only a problem exclusive to professional sports, but also occurs in amateur sports

In an article published in The Sport Psychologist, researchers warn that it is necessary to increase control over the problem in popular cycling, conducting campaigns to raise awareness and to prevent the use of performance-enhancement drugs (PEDs).

The study was conducted by researchers from the universities of Granada and Elche, in addition to the Spanish Cycling Federation. They investigated the relationship between the use of performance-enhancement substances (measured by an anonymous questionnaire) and a number of psychosocial variables: attitude towards doping, self-esteem, self-efficacy and perception of doping substances among cyclists (the false consensus effect).

The study was performed with a sample of 2,003 amateur (non-professional) cyclists, who participated in the race called Quebrantahuesos (named after the bearded vulture, in Spanish) held in Sabiñánigo (Huesca) in 2012. All racers voluntarily participated in a survey conducted by the researchers.

The results showed that 8.2 percent of the sample admitted to having consumed or habitually using PEDs. PED use was associated with a higher probability of perceiving substance use in cycling as something normal (the so-called 'false consensus effect'), with a more permissive attitude toward doping, and with a lower self-efficacy.

Another important factor related to the use of doping substances by amateur cyclists who participated in the study was their experience (current or previous) in competitive (at any level): The greater the experience, the greater the likelihood of consuming performance-enhancement drugs.

Explore further: Most elite athletes believe doping substances are effective in improving performance

More information: Mikel Zabala et al, Relationship between Self-Reported Doping Behavior and Psychosocial Factors in Adult Amateur Cyclists, The Sport Psychologist (2016). DOI: 10.1123/tsp.2014-0168

Related Stories

Most elite athletes believe doping substances are effective in improving performance

May 21, 2013
Most elite athletes consider doping substances "are effective" in improving performance, while recognising that they constitute cheating, can endanger health and entail the obvious risk of sanction. At the same time, the ...

The health risks of doping

August 9, 2016
Olympians are often considered the best athletes in the world, but with that comes the pressure to perform. As a result, some Olympic athletes may turn to doping. Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Thomas Kosten examines the ...

What will cyclists do about doping now?

February 5, 2016
The use of banned drugs and substances and other prohibited practices – doping – has been a problem at the elite levels of cycling for a very long time. There is evidence now that doping happens in amateur levels of cycling ...

Doping's lingering effects – and not just among aging athletes

April 25, 2016
Decades after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1990s media exposé of East German abuses – systematically administered performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to Olympics-bound top-level athletes, without the athletes' ...

If cheating is 'normal' in cycling, how can we build integrity?

May 30, 2014
"Integrity" is currently the buzzword around Australian sport policy-making.

Scientific study suggests an association between physical doping and brain doping

January 13, 2014
Physical doping and brain doping apparently often go hand in hand. A study from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen revealed that people who engage in physical doping often ...

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.