Doping Attitudes, Beliefs, and Practices among Young, Amateur Croatian Athletes / Ivan Miskulin, Danijela Stimac Grbic, Maja Miskulin. - (Sports 9 (2021) 2 (9 February); p. 1-10)
- PMID: 33572386
- PMCID: PMC7916256
- DOI: 10.3390/sports9020025
Recent studies revealed that amateur athletes, especially young ones, have an increasing tendency of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) usage. The aim of this study was to explore PEDs attitudes, beliefs, and practices among young, amateur Croatian athletes. This cross-sectional study using a specially designed questionnaire as a research tool was done during the August 2019 to January 2020 period among a convenient sample of 400 amateur athletes of median age 18 (interquartile range 15 to 21) years. The prevalence of current PEDs usage was 1.3%, while past PEDs usage prevalence was 3.3%. Current PEDs usage was more frequent among young adults (p = 0.048) and athletes playing individual sports (p = 0.001). Athletes who were engaged in sports from one to five years had more permissive attitudes toward PEDs (p < 0.001) as measured by the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale. Female athletes had more positive beliefs about PEDs usage (p = 0.008). The study did not establish any correlation between current or past PEDs usage and attitudes toward PEDs as well as beliefs about PEDs usage. However, there was a weak positive correlation between attitudes toward PEDs and athletes' beliefs about PEDs usage (rs = 0.465, p < 0.001). PEDs usage is present among young Croatian amateur athletes. There is a need for interventions directed toward the prevention of PEDs usage in an observed subgroup of athletes.