South African Journal of Sports Medicine
On-line version ISSN 2078-516X
NOLTE, K; STEYN, B J M; KRUGER, P E and FLETCHER, L. Doping in sport: attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of competitive high-school athletes in Gauteng Province. SA J. Sports Med. [online]. 2014, vol.26, n.3, pp. 81-86. ISSN 2078-516X. http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAJSM.542.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of talented young athletes residing in Gauteng regarding prohibited performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and anti-doping rules and regulations METHODS: This was a survey study using a quantitative research approach. South African TuksSport academy athletes at the High Performance Centre, University of Pretoria, and competitive high-school athletes at four private high schools in Gauteng completed the survey. A self-determined, structured questionnaire was used to establish the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of the athletes RESULTS: A total of 346 (208 males, 138 females) athletes, mean (standard deviation) age 16.9 (1.4) years participated in the survey. According to this survey, 3.9% of the athletes in this survey admitted to using a prohibited PED and more than 14.0% of the athletes said they would consider using a prohibited PED if they knew they would not get caught. Ambition (46.0%) and emotional pressure (22.5%) were the primary reasons why the athletes would consider using prohibited PEDs. Even though coaches appeared to be one of the main sources of information (on PEDs and anti-doping rules), only 42.1% of the athletes felt that they were well informed CONCLUSION: Controlling doping by means of testing is important. However, it may be necessary to put more emphasis on changing attitudes towards doping and implementing additional educational programmes