Doping and supplementation: the attitudes of talented young athletes

25 Oct 2010

Doping and supplementation : the attitudes of talented young athletes / A.J. Bloodworth, A. Petróczi, R. Bailey, G. Pearce, M.J. McNamee. - (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 22 (2012) 2 (April); p. 293-301)

  • PMID: 20973831
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01239.x


There is evidence of a small but significant proportion of adolescents engaging in doping practices. Young athletes face very specific pressures to achieve results as they strive for a career at an elite level. This study used an anonymized questionnaire to survey 403 (12-21 years old) talented young athletes' attitudes toward performance-enhancing substances and supplements. Two-thirds of the sample comprised males. Athletes were generally against the use of doping substances to enhance sporting performance. Within this generally unfavorable view, males tended to express a more permissive attitude toward performance-enhancing methods than females. Those convinced of the necessity of supplementation for sporting success were also more likely to express permissive attitudes. When asked whether they would take a "magic" drug that, while undetectable, would significantly enhance performance, the overwhelming majority of athletes said "no," but many thought others would take the substance. Interestingly, there was a significant association between the projected use of the hypothetical drug by competitors and the individual respondent's willingness to take the hypothetically "magic" substance. The study offers an insight into young athletes' attitudes toward specific forms of performance enhancement, and the strength of their beliefs in the face of a tempting hypothetical scenario.

The frequency of doping in elite sport: Results of a replication study

23 Aug 2011

The frequency of doping in elite sport: Results of a replication study / Werner Pitsch, Eike Emrich. - (International Review for the Sociology of Sport 47 (2011) 5 (23 August); p. 559-580)

  • DOI: 10.1177/2F1012690211413969


The difficulty of measuring the prevalence of doping in elite sport is a recurring topic in the scientific literature on doping. The Randomized Response Technique is a method for asking such embarrassing or even threatening questions while allowing the respondents to answer honestly. It was used to measure the prevalence of doping among German squad athletes by Pitsch et al. (2005, 2007). In a replication study with better sampling control, it was possible to replicate the general trend of the data from the 2005 study. Nevertheless, there are differences in the details between the two sets of findings. An additional explorative analysis reveals that gender has an important impact on doping decisions. Most theories of doping, especially those derived from systems theory or economic game theory address neither the central findings nor the influence of gender. Based on these findings, we will discuss questions of theory development in relation to empirical evidence.

Dignified Doping: Truly Unthinkable? An Existentialist Critique of ‘Talentocracy’ in Sports

9 Oct 2012

Dignified Doping : Truly Unthinkable? An Existentialist Critique of ‘Talentocracy’ in Sports / Pieter Bonte

Published in:

Athletic Enhancement, Human Nature and Ethics : Threats and Opportunities of Doping Technologies. - Dordrecht : Springer. - (International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine, volume 52; p. 59-86)

  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5101-9_4
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-5100-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-5101-9


As the activity of sporting has become deeply ensnared in cultures of hyper-competition and industries of shallow spectacle, many are unable or unwilling to consider how in healed sports (sub) cultures, doping may be done in dignity. To investigate this, I suspend all circumstantial issues surrounding doping, to see whether doping, in ‘the best of all possible worlds’, would remain problematic. Analysing the required origins, processes and outcomes of a proper athletic accomplishment, I conclude that doping need not be debasing, mechanistic nor dehumanizing. The deep integration of artifice in one’s body may even signify a courageous acceptance of the human condition of being ‘foundationlessly free and ruthlessly responsible’. As such, doping would be deeply dignified. In this light, I critique the deep attachment to natural talent in the justifications of anti-doping as attempts to sustain the comfortable but deceptive self-image of man as a creature which should follow the cues of its nature – develop its talents – to find purpose and meaning in life. Ironically, where ‘talentocrats’ cultivate natural forms, transhumanists cultivate a natural formula: evolution, thus becoming strange bedfellows in trying to connect human existence to the comforts of a ‘naturally given purpose’. To be human, however, is to be denied such an existential cradle. Intriguingly, sport is claimed both as a deceitful dreamland of soothing purposefulness and as a testimony to our troubling but true purposelessness. A truly virtuous spirit of sport should insist it is the latter.

Who is more skilful? Doping and its implication on the validity, morality and significance of the sporting

1 Jun 2016

Who is more skilful? Doping and its implication on the validity, morality and significance of the sporting / Ask Vest Christiansen, Rasmus Bysted Møller. - (Performance Enhancement & Health 4 (2016) 3-4 (June); p. 123-129)

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2016.04.002


In this article, we explore if and in what ways doping can be regarded as a challenge to the validity, morality and significance of the sporting test. We start out by examining Kalevi Heinilä’s analysis of the logic of elite sport, which shows how the ‘spiral of competition’ leads to the use of ‘dubious means’. As a supplement to Heinilä, we revisit American sports historian John Hoberman’s writings on sport and technology. Then we discuss what function equality and fairness have in sport and what separates legitimate form illegitimate ways of enhancing performance. We proceed by discussing the line of argumentation set forth by philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjö on how our admiration of sporting superiority based on natural talent or ‘birth luck’ is immoral. We analyse his argument in favour of eliminating the significance of meritless luck in sport by lifting the ban on doping and argue that its rationale is incompatible with the purpose of sport. We hereby show that although there certainly are morally problematic features of anti-doping the idea that doping must be banned can be defended by reference to the constitutive function of physical differences in sport. In conclusion we show that although doping will never be eradicated from sport because of its ability to increase the physical differences that serve a constitutive function in sport, those differences are not primary in our fascination with elite sport. Instead, we argue for the sporting competition as a stage where fascinating narratives can unfold in a dramatized manner. The integrity of athletic excellence can thus survive even if doping continues to be a factor in sport.

The implications of methylphenidate use by healthy medical students and doctors in South Africa

4 Mar 2014

The implications of methylphenidate use by healthy medical students and doctors in South Africa / Chad Beyer, Ciara Staunton, Keymanthri Moodley. - (BMC Medical Ethics 15 (2014) 20 (4 March); p. 1-8)

  • PMID: 24592964
  • PMCID: PMC3974029
  • DOI: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-20


Background: The use of medical stimulants to sustain attention, augment memory and enhance intellectual capacity is increasing in society. The use of Methylphenidate for cognitive enhancement is a subject that has received much attention in the literature and academic circles in recent times globally. Medical doctors and medical students appear to be equally involved in the off-label use of Methylphenidate. This presents a potential harm to society and the individual as the long-term side effect profile of this medication is unknown.

Discussion: The implication of the use of Methylphenidate by medical students and doctors has not been fully explored. This article considers the impact of this use on the traditional role of medicine, society, the patient and suggests a way forward. We discuss the salient philosophy surrounding the use of cognitive enhancement. We query whether there are cognitive benefits to the use of Methylphenidate in healthy students and doctors and whether these benefits would outweigh the risks in taking the medication. Could these benefits lead to tangible outcomes for society and could the off label-use of Methylphenidate potentially undermine the medical profession and the treatment of patients? If cognitive benefits are proven then doctors may be coerced explicitly or implicitly to use the drug which may undermine their autonomy. The increased appeal of cognitive enhancement challenges the traditional role of medicine in society, and calls into question the role of a virtuous life as a contributing factor for achievement. In countries with vast economic disparity such as South Africa an enhancement of personal utility that can be bought may lead to greater inequities.

Summary: Under the status quo the distribution of methylphenidate is unjust. Regulatory governmental policy must seek to remedy this while minimising the potential for competitive advantage for the enhanced. Public debate on the use of cognitive enhancement is long overdue and must be stimulated. The use of Methylphenidate for cognitive enhancement is philosophically defendable if long-term research can prove that the risks are negligible and the outcomes tangible.

Double trouble? A mixed methods study exploring experiences with combined use of anabolic-androgenic steroids and psychoactive substances among women

5 Sep 2021

Double trouble? A mixed methods study exploring experiences with combined use of anabolic-androgenic steroids and psychoactive substances among women / Ingrid Amalia Havnes, Marie Lindvik Jørstad, Astrid Bjørnebekk. - (Performance Enhancement & Health (2021) 100198 (5 September);

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2021.100198


Concurrent use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) and psychoactive substances (illicit drugs and alcohol) is found common in studies among men and involves a higher risk of adverse events than AAS use alone. However, women who use AAS represent an understudied group, and little is known about their pattern of psychoactive substance use and possible links to AAS use. The aim of this mixed methods paper is to a) examine lifetime and problem use of psychoactive substances and AAS, and b) explore experiences of AAS and psychoactive substance use including understandings of how these substances may be related among women with current or previous AAS use.

Among sixteen women with current or previous AAS use, lifetime psychoactive substance and AAS use, AAS dependence and problem drug and alcohol use were assessed. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically within a biopsychosocial framework applying pharmacological agency; the concept of bodily surveillance of effect and the ability to handle substances instrumentally to feel oneselves/ones bodies better.

Twelve participants reported lifetime substance use, where cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines were most commonly used. Substance use problems were found among eight participants; five had lifetime AAS-dependence and clinically significant drug and/or alcohol dependence scores, two had lifetime AAS dependence, and one had clinically significant drug dependence scores. Psychoactive substance use was experienced as unrelated to AAS use or it could be used to counteract side effects of AAS. On the contrary, AAS was used to cope with the bodily and emotional change following withdrawal from psychoactive substances and to counteract bodily effects of long-term substance use. Being in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment after detoxification with affected mental health, a passive lifestyle and experiencing a transition from having an emaciated body, gaining weight and becoming unfit, was experienced to motivate AAS initiation during treatment.

The polysubstance nature of AAS use including use of psychoactive substances and risk of developing SUDs poses a significant health risk. Health professionals need to understand motivations for combined use of AAS and psychoactive substances among women to be able to prevent harms and address individual treatment needs.

WADA Prohibited List 2022

30 Sep 2021

Prohibited List January 2022 : The World Anti-Doping Code International Standard / World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). - Montreal : WADA, 2021

The Prohibited List is a mandatory International Standard as part of the World Anti-Doping Program.
The List is updated annually following an extensive consultation process facilitated by WADA. The effective date of the List is 1 January 2022.

WADA The 2022 Monitoring Program

30 Sep 2021

WADA The 2022 Monitoring Program

The following substances are placed on the 2022 Monitoring Program*:

  1. Anabolic Agents:
    In and Out-of-Competition: Ecdysterone
  2. Beta-2 Agonists:
    In and Out-of-Competition: Salmeterol and vilanterol below the Minimum Reporting Level.
  3. Stimulants:
    In-Competition only: Bupropion, caffeine, nicotine, phenylephrine,
    phenylpropanolamine, pipradrol and synephrine.
  4. Narcotics:
    In-Competition only: Codeine, hydrocodone and tramadol.

* The World Anti-Doping Code (Article 4.5) states: “WADA, in consultation with Signatories and governments, shall establish a monitoring program regarding substances which are not on the Prohibited List, but which WADA wishes to monitor in order to detect potential patterns of misuse in sport.”

iNADO Update #2021-10

4 Oct 2021

iNADO Update (2021) 10 (4 October)
Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO)


iNADO Community

  • Michael Ask steps down as Chair of the iNADO
  • Outcomes of the Executive Committee Meeting: Cannabis and Revised Code Compliance Policy
  • Belgium‘s Pharma- & Foodcrime Platform: Information Sharing and Capacity Building
  • Sport Integrity Australia new Corporate Plan 2021-2025 & Newsletter
  • CHINADA, JADA and KADA sign MOU to continue Tokyo 2020 Clean Sport Legacy

Bulletin Board

  • Election of a new Chair of the Governing Board of iNADO on October 12
  • Reminder: Berlinger presents newest Generation of Blood Collection Needles
  • KADA opens Registrations for International Anti-Doping Seminar
  • Webinar Invitation: Good Governance Leadership & Integrity in Sport

Athlete's Voice

  • AthletesCAN publish four-year Strategic Plan to promote an Athlete-Centered Sport System


  • Maira BAKASHEVA (Kazakhstan)
  • Franziska Heinrichsmeier
  • Janka Deszatnik


  • iNADO Project: Overview of 20 Years of Research funded by WADA and PCC

iNADO Partners & Sponsors

  • New at the Anti-Doping Knowledge Center

ADAK 2021 ADAK vs Henry Kiprotich Sang

15 Jul 2021

Related case:

ADAK 2018 ADAK vs Henry Kiprotich Sang
October 11, 2018

On 11 October 2018 the Panel of the Kenya Sports Disputes Tribunal decided to impose a 2 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete Henry Kiprotich Sang after he tested positive for the prohibited substance 19-norandrosterone (Nandrolone).

The Athlete explained with medical information that he underwent treatment in a hospital for his injury and failed to mention to his doctor that he was an Athlete.

Hereafter the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) established that the medical information provided by the Athlete was forged whereas the Kericho County Referral Hospital confirmed that the Athlete had not been in the hospital for medical treatment in October 2017.

Consequently in October 2018 ADAK reported an anti-doping rule violation against the Athlete for Tampering with any part of the Doping Control. After notification a provisional suspension was ordered and the Athlete filed a statement in his defence.

The Athlete invoked the principles of res judicata and lis pendens as he asserted that in the previous case the matter was already settled while ADAK also had filed a similar case with the Kenya Court in Kericho. The Athlete failed to explanain the falsification of medical documents.

The Panel of the Kenya Sports Disputes Tribunal finds that the principle of res judicata is not applicable in this case since the matter of Tampering was not raised in the previous case in 2018. Nor is the principle of lis pendens applicable since the Tribunal has jurisdiction to settle anti-doping rule violations. Yet the Kenya Court in Kericho has jurisdiction to settle the Athlete's crime regarding the falsification of documents.

Considering the evidence in this case the Panel concludes that the Athlete intentionally had produced fraudulent medical records and accordingly committed an anti-doping rule violation for Tampering with any part of the Doping Control. The Panel deems that the Athlete failed to contest the facts of the anti-doping rule violation, neither was demonstrated that the violation was not intentional.

Therefore the Kenya Sports Disputes Tribunal decides on 15 July 2021 to impose a 4 year period of ineligibility on the Athlete, starting on the date of the provisional suspension, i.e. on 22 October 2020.

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