Public perception of sport anti-doping policy in Australia
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Aims: An implicit rationale for anti-doping legislation is that doping damages the public image of sport and that this, in turn, has serious consequences for the sporting industry. However, there is scant evidence that doping impacts on public opinion, and even less so that it has dire consequences for sports consumerism. This study sought to fill a void in public policy debate by canvassing public opinion on a range of anti-doping policies and practices. Methods: A representative sample of the Australian public (n?=?2520) responded to a telephone survey with questions on performance enhancing and illicit drug use. Findings: The majority agreed that clubs should be penalized if athletes were found to use drugs and that companies and government should stop sponsoring athletes who have been using drugs. Opinion was split on the issue of whether performance-enhancing drug use should be criminalized (slight majority in favour). Conclusions: These results show that the Australian public support anti-doping measures. As anti-doping initiatives become more widespread, invasive and costly, policy makers will need to ensure that anti-doping legislation maintains strong public support.
Copyright 2012 Informa Healthcare. This is an electronic version of an article published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, Vol. 19 (1), 2012, pp.84-87. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy is available online at: http://informahealthcare.com with the open URL of your article.
Sport and Exercise Psychology