The prevalence of doping among Saudi athletes : Results from the National Anti-Doping Program / Sulaiman O. Aljaloud, Khalid I. Khoshhal, Abdullatif A. Al-Ghaiheb, Mohammed S. Konbaz, Abdulaziz A. Almasaed. - (Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences 15 (2020) 1 (February) ; 19-24).
- doi: 10.1016/j.jtumed.2019.12.001.
- PMCID: PMC7033394.
- PMID: 32110178
The abuse of substances banned by anti-doping authorities is a significant problem in sports. Recently, several doping cases have been reported by the media. Additionally, a large number of athletes have been found guilty of using banned substances. Although athletes believe that doping is against the spirit of sports and are aware of its consequences, they continue to use these substances. The consumption of banned substances among Saudi athletes is rising. This study aimed to investigate the abuse of drugs among Saudi athletes.
A systematic random sampling cross-sectional survey was administered to all 15-45-year-old Saudi male athletes who were registered with Saudi Sports Federations and the General Sports Authority. From 2009 to 2018, 388 doping control officers participated in the National Anti-Doping Program across 460 facilities. The study necessitated 171 city visits for data collection.
A total of 6306 samples were tested during the study period. There were 6165 negative and 141 (2.24%) positive samples for doping. We report a doping prevalence of 2.24% among Saudi athletes. During the study period, Saudi athletes from all types of sports were tested positive for doping. The number of positive samples was significantly higher among competing athletes than non-competing athletes.
Doping is a significant problem in KSA. For safe and fair play by all Saudi athletes, the National Anti-Doping Program should enhance the educational campaigns for all athletes in the country.