Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 272 - 277

Research article
Adolescent Athletes and the Demand and Supply of Drugs to Improve Their Performance
Patrick Laure , Caroline Binsinger
Author Information
Direction régionale de la Jeunesse et des Sports de Lorraine, BP 69, 54139 Saint-Max, France

Patrick Laure
✉ Direction régionale de la Jeunesse et des Sports de Lorraine, BP 69, 54139 Saint-Max, France
Email: patrick.laure@wanadoo.fr
Publish Date
Received: 13-04-2005
Accepted: 15-06-2005
Published (online): 01-09-2005
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to gather information into the principal methods and means employed to supply adolescents with doping agents and others substances used to improve their sporting performance. We conducted a nation wide study in France among adolescent athletes, using a self-completed questionnaire. Exploitable questionnaires (n = 6402) were returned, corresponding to 48.9% for the girls and 51.1% for the boys, both aged on average from 16.1 ± 2.2 years. These adolescents practise on average 10.0 ± 5.2 hours of sport per week. 21.9% participate on a national or international competition level. Of our respondents, 4.0% (95% confidence interval: 3.5% - 4.5%) say they have been enticed into using products which are prohibited for athletes. 10.3% of the adolescents say that they have received substances to improve their performance at least once from an average of two different people. It was mostly a friend, their parents and the family doctor. On average, in 33.2% of the cases, the adolescent received the product without asking for it, and in nearly half the cases (46.6%), the adolescent paid for the product. We feel that it is necessary to better understand the ways in which this black market functions: for example; the initial sources of the products sold, the number and the ‘profiles’ of the dealers, the general organisation of the market and the sums of money involved.

Key words: Doping in sport, adolescents, enticement, black market


           Key Points
  • This study confirms the existence of a ‘black market’ for products to improve performance, which is directed at adolescent athletes engaged in high-level competitions.
  • This market is characterized by its ease of accessibility and also the diversity of its ‘suppliers’, the two main sources being friends and parents.
 
 
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