World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) is responsible for doping-free sporting contests and is the only sporting body posing relevant competition sanctions. While doping relates to various controversial attitudes and beliefs proposed in the past, the confirmation of a competition ban following a doping violation has many negative connotations for the lives of the athletes. This can elicit multiple significant and far-reaching implications for them and their close ones. Aiming to better understand these implications in an athlete’s life, 5 Greek male and female athletes having recently received a competition ban after a doping violation were interviewed. Qualitative analysis of the data showed that many important psychological, social, and financial implications follow such a sanction. Most importantly, these consequences may even contribute to indications of poor mental and physical health. Discussion of the results provides suggestions for the alleviation of the negative consequences following an involuntary sporting career pause or termination.
Emmanouil Georgiadis and Irini Papazoglou
Sara Biondi, Cristiana Conti, Emmanouil Georgiadis, and Maurizio Bertollo
The current case study reports an intervention with a young volleyball athlete who was diagnosed with cancer during his early sporting career. The athlete requested both performance-enhancement support and psychotherapeutic intervention (the latter during his illness) from his sport psychologist. The article explores the transition from sport psychology intervention, which started before the appearance of the disease, to psychotherapy and the reflections concerning this unique situation. The fluctuation of the athlete alongside the mental health continuum ranging from a normal (illness-free) state to a mental-illness state was taken into consideration. The theoretical framework adopted by the sport psychologist/psychotherapist consisted of the integration of different approaches: the psychobiosocial model of Individual Zone for Optimal Functioning and relational psychoanalysis, both oriented around the existentialism counseling approach. Reflections on the case include the changes of setting and the development of the relationship between the psychologist/psychotherapist and the athlete during the two intervention phases.