Perceived incidence of drug use in Australian sport: a survey of athletes and coaches
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Doping control statistics suggest that only 1-2 per cent of athletes are doping. However, studies of the perceived incidence of doping, suggest that athletes believe that doping may be far more prevalent. Perceptions may potentially be of greater significance than actual incidence: athletes who believe that other athletes are doping may be more likely to engage in such practices, potentially creating a damaging self-fulfilling prophecy. This study investigated the perceptions of 609 Australian elite athletes and coaches about the extent of doping in sport. Data were collected via a self-completed survey. Results showed that the perceived incidence of performance enhancing drug use was approximately 19% (30% for perceived incidence of recreational drug use). Findings are discussed in relation to how perceptions might influence athletes through the creation of damaging self-fulfilling prophecies, and how sporting associations have attempted to control testing procedures to influence perceptions of drug use in sport.
Sport in Society
© 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Sport in Society on 25 Jun 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17430437.2014.927867
Sport and Leisure Management