Whenever athletes willfully or accidentally ingest performance-enhancing drugs or other banned substances (such as drugs of abuse), markers of those drugs can be detected in biological samples (e.g., biofluids: urine, saliva, blood); in the case of some drugs, that evidence can be apparent for many weeks following the last exposure to the drug. In addition to the willful use of prohibited drugs, athletes can accidentally ingest banned substances in contaminated dietary supplements or foods and inadvertently fail a drug test that could mean the end of an athletic career and the loss of a good reputation. The proliferation of performance-enhancing drugs and methods has required a corresponding increase in the analytical tools and methods required to identify the presence of banned substances in biofluids. Even though extraordinary steps have been taken by organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency to limit the use of prohibited substances and methods by athletes willing to cheat, it is apparent that some athletes continue to avoid detection by using alternative doping regimens or taking advantage of the limitations in testing methodologies. This article reviews the testing standards and analytical techniques underlying the procedures used to identify banned substances in biological samples, setting the stage for future summaries of the testing required to establish the use of steroids, stimulants, diuretics, and other prohibited substances.
Amy B. Cadwallader and Bob Murray
Bryan E. Denham
In this essay, the author proposes that, in order to understand how the issue of performance-enhancing-drug use in professional baseball has been defined for mass audiences, scholars need to consider the political and economic interests of both baseball and the media companies that have covered the issue. Where performance-enhancing drugs are concerned, media characterizations have had a significant impact on the formation of public and organizational policy, and the author seeks to demonstrate that portrayals and perceptions of drug use in baseball can be understood through the media product that results from an intersection of normative standards with powerful influences on those standards. Calling out the heavy hitters in a culture of pervasive drug use is unfair to elite performers in that media reports sometimes give the impression that athletes have reached superstar status because they were willing to do what others were not; this is a basic falsehood.
Amy B. Becker and Dietram A. Scheufele
Recently, the controversy surrounding the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs by Olympic and professional athletes has captured the media spotlight, in part as a response to the very public and pervasive steroids scandal plaguing Major League Baseball (MLB). This article examines trends in Americans’ attitudes toward the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in Olympic and professional sport as a way to better understand the messaging challenges that policy makers, players, managers, coaches, and publicists face when trying to influence the media agenda. As the poll data presented suggest, Americans feel that the incidence of performanceenhancing- drug use in professional sport is significant, especially in MLB. Furthermore, Americans suggest that the leadership of various professional sports is not doing enough to combat the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs by top competitors.
Mikel Zabala, Jaime Morente-Sánchez, Manuel Mateo-March, and Daniel Sanabria
This study addresses performance-enhancement drug (PED) consumption in amateur sport by investigating the relationship between psychosocial factors and PED use in amateur cyclists. Participants were asked whether they had ever taken PED. They were also asked whether they had any experience in competitive cycling, and the degree to which they participated in the event with a competitive aim. In addition, they completed the Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale, the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, and a bespoke self-efficacy questionnaire, and they rated the percentage of cyclists they believed took PED. Between-groups comparisons and two multiple regression analyses were performed. Overall, the results of our study point to adult amateur cyclists in general, and amateur cyclists with experience in competition in particular, as groups at risk for PED use. This study highlights the value of measuring psychosocial variables as a tool to assess PED use, a current issue at both sport performance and health levels.
Liam J.A. Lenten, Aaron C.T. Smith, and Ralph-Christopher Bayer
-admission or on the evidence of others—whether performance-enhancing drugs all year round, or illicit and other designated substances during competition—face the prospect of up to a 2-year ban for a first offense, and up to a lifetime ban for a second offense. The WADA, however, faces a policy dilemma
Stephen Moston, Brendan Hutchinson, and Terry Engelberg
One of the implicit justifications for antidoping is that athletes are so committed to winning that they will take performance-enhancing substances regardless of the apparent consequences. Athletes are alleged to be, quite literally, willing to die to win. Support for this claim usually centers on the results of research by physician Bob Goldman, in which athletes were asked to respond to a hypothetical dilemma in which they were offered spectacular success in their chosen sport, but at a heavy price: they would die after five years of glory. In this paper, we examine the origins of this bargain, now popularly referred to as the Goldman dilemma, finding that both the methodology and implications of the original work have repeatedly been described inaccurately in both popular and scientific writings. These errors reflect both poor scholarship and deliberate misuse, where the flawed narrative is used to justify contentious policy decisions.
This article explicates the processes by which sports news is constructed by analyzing the case of performance enhancing drug use coverage. An ethnographic study was conducted of a North American cycling news journal and website. Investigating fundamental tasks of the journalist profession illuminates the labor practices of sport media. Contextualized within institutional, economic and cultural conditions of production, these practices serve to frame not only what but how, texts are constructed. Results indicate that while performance enhancing drug use in sport is considered highly newsworthy, investigative costs, public fatigue, and lack of medical and legal knowledge account for the limited coverage.
The development of sports medicine can be understood in terms of a conjuncture involving processes of medicalization and the increasing competitiveness of modern sport. It is also suggested that the growing involvement of sports physicians in the search for championship-winning performances has led them not only to develop improved mechanical and psychological techniques, but also to play an active part in the development of performance-enhancing drugs and techniques. The argument is developed via three case studies: the relationship between sports medicine and drug use in some of the former communist countries of Eastern Europe; the early development of anabolic steroids in the United States; and the development of “blood doping.”
Benjamin D. Brewer
The rediscovery in the past three years of the widespread and highly organized use of performance-enhancing drugs—known as “doping”—in professional cycling has thrown the sport into a period of turmoil. Through a critical historical analysis, the article argues that profound institutional changes introduced into professional cycling by the sport’s governing body both facilitated and reflected the increasing commercial penetration of the sport. These institutional transformations put new pressures on team managers and racers, leading to significant changes in team organizations and rider preparation, in part fostering a new social organization of doping practices.
Ken Hodge, Elaine A. Hargreaves, David Gerrard, and Chris Lonsdale
We examined whether constructs outlined in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002), namely, autonomy-supportive and controlling motivational climates and autonomous and controlled motivation, were related to attitudes toward performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sport and drug-taking susceptibility. We also investigated moral disengagement as a potential mediator. We surveyed a sample of 224 competitive athletes (59% female; M age = 20.3 years; M = 10.2 years of experience participating in their sport), including 81 elite athletes. Using structural equation modeling analyses, our hypothesis proposing positive relationships with controlling climates, controlled motivation, and PEDs attitudes and susceptibility was largely supported, whereas our hypothesis proposing negative relationships among autonomous climate, autonomous motivation, and PEDs attitudes and susceptibility was not supported. Moral disengagement was a strong predictor of positive attitudes toward PEDs, which, in turn, was a strong predictor of PEDs susceptibility. These findings are discussed from both motivational and moral disengagement viewpoints.