Health and doping in elite-level cycling

Lentillon-Kaestner, V., Hagger, Martin S. and HARDCASTLE, SARAH (2011) Health and doping in elite-level cycling Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports, 22 (5). ISSN 0905-7188

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The protection of the health of athletes is one of the three criteria taken into account when registering a substance in the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. Nevertheless, in elite-level cycling, banned substance use is widespread. The present research adopted a psychological approach to examine how or whether perceived health risks influence elite-level cyclists' decisions to use banned substances. Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with cyclists hoping to join a professional team (n=6), neo-professional cyclists (n=2), and former professional cyclists (n=8). Although an evolution was observed in the organization of doping and perceptions of doping over the last decade, the perceived health hazards did not influence, most of the time, decisions to use banned substances among the sample of cyclists. There was a systematization of exogenous substance use in the cycling environment and a trivialization of the side effects of the banned substances. Finally, younger cyclists were not concerned about the long-term health consequences of banned substances; they were more focused on the short-term performance-enhancing benefits. There is a need to implement more effective preventive programs to change athletes' attitudes toward doping and its health risks.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:doping behaviors;health risks;performance-enhancing drugs; sport; cycling; amateur level; professional level
Subjects:B000 Health Professions > B100 Anatomy Physiology and Pathology > B190 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology not elsewhere classified
C000 Biological and Biomedical Sciences > C600 Sport and Exercise Science
DOI (a stable link to the resource):10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01281.x
Faculties:Faculty of Education and Sport > Chelsea School
ID Code:9359
Deposited By:Converis
Deposited On:26 Oct 2011 10:57
Last Modified:09 Jan 2013 07:56

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