Beliefs, attitudes and knowledge of High school students concerning doping

Arvaniti N., Psarelis G.-The school environment constitutes the best place for the promotion of the anti-doping policy.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the beliefs, attitudes and knowledge of young people concerning the doping issue and to receive their opinion about how school could actively participate at the fight against this phenomenon.

The study was conducted from October 2004 until January 2005 (n=1400, boys 53% and girls 47%) at five different Hellenic cities :Athens(37%), Korinthos (24%),Argos(15%), Nafplio (14%) and Ioannina (10%). 65% of the participants state that they participate regularly at sport activities and from them 52% are members of a sports club : Football (28,6%), Basketball (18%), Tennis (8,3%), Volleyball (7,7%), Athletics (7,5%), Swimming (6,2%), Martial Arts (5,8%)…

They believe that doping is a social phenomenon (63,4%), involves all countries (68,5%) and all sports (60,9%). At their vast majority they are against the use of doping substances at sports (91%). They recognize the serious effects of these substances at the health of the users and 56,7% believe that they can might result death. From the participants 10% state that they have used doping substances.

They disagree with the view that without doping substances you can not become an Olympic or World Champion (74%).

They don’t know which substances/ products belong to the list of prohibited substances. They wrongly believe that creatine (49,1%) paracetamol (30,5%), caffeine (19,3%) and acetylsalicylic acid (18,6%) …belong to the list of prohibited substances. On the other hand they wrongly believe that ephedrine (47,6%), growth hormone (27,1%)…are not part of the list.

They state that they have receive information concerning doping (85%) and from them the 72,4% recognize mass media as the source of information and only 19,8% recognize school as source of information.