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Whistleblowing against doping misconduct represents an effective deterrent of doping use in elite competitive sport. The present study assessed the effects of social cognitive variables on competitive athletes’ intentions to report doping misconduct. A second objective was to assess whether the effects of social norms on whistleblowing intentions were mediated by actor prototype evaluations and group identification and orientation. In total, 1,163 competitive athletes from Greece, Russia, and the United Kingdom completed a questionnaire on demographics, past behavior, social cognitive variables, and intentions toward whistleblowing. Regression analyses showed that whistleblowing intentions were associated with different social cognitive variables in each country. Multiple mediation modeling showed that attitudes and subjective norms were associated with whistleblowing intentions indirectly, via the effects of anticipated negative affect and group identification and orientation, respectively. The findings of this study are novel and have important implications about the social, cognitive, and normative processes underlying decision making toward reporting doping misconduct.
Lazuras and Bingham are with the Dept. of Psychology, Sociology and Politics, Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Barkoukis and Ntovolis are with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. Bondarev is with Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russian Federation. Bochaver is with the Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russian Federation. Theodorou is with Code Fair Play–Greece, Athens, Greece.