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Sara A. Mohamed1, Jean Bilard2, Denis Hauw1

1University of Lausanne, Institute of Sport Sciences, Grissul, Switzerland
2University of Montpellier, Epsylon, France

Qualitative and Hierarchical Analysis of Protective Factors against Illicit Use of Doping Substances in Athletes Calling a National Anti-Doping Phone-Help Service


Evidence of a sport-specific hierarchy of protective factors against doping would thus be a powerful aid in adapting information and prevention campaigns to target the characteristics of specific athlete groups, and especially those athletes most vulnerable for doping control. The contents of phone calls to a free and anonymous national anti-doping service called ‘ecoute dopage’ were analysed (192 bodybuilders, 124 cyclists and 44 footballers). The results showed that the protective factors that emerged from analysis could be categorised into two groups. The first comprised ‘Health concerns’, ‘Respect for the law’ and ‘Doping controls from the environment’ and the second comprised ‘Doubts about the effectiveness of illicit products, ‘Thinking skills’ and ‘Doubts about doctors’. The ranking of the factors for the cyclists differed from that of the other athletes. The ordering of factors was 1) respect for the law, 2) doping controls from the environment, 3) health concerns 4) doubts about doctors, and 5) doubts about the effectiveness illicit products. The results are analysed in terms of the ranking in each athlete group and the consequences on the athletes’ experience and relationship to doping. Specific prevention campaigns are proposed to limit doping behaviour in general and for each sport.


anti-doping, phone-help service, anti-doping campaigns, recreational drugs, performance enhancement drugs, personal factors, environmental factors


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