SPORTS DRUG-TESTING HAS FAILED TO CHANGE BEHAVIOR OF ATHLETES
Baron, D. A., Martin, D. M., & Samir, A. M. (2007). Doping in sports and its spread to at-risk populations: An international review. World Psychiatry, 6, 118-123.
"Doping is now a global problem that follows international sporting events worldwide. International sports federations, led by the International Olympic Committee, have for the past half century attempted to stop the spread of this problem, with little effect. It was expected that, with educational programs, testing, and supportive medical treatment, this substance-abusing behavior would decrease. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. In fact, new, more powerful and undetectable doping techniques and substances are now abused by professional athletes, while sophisticated networks of distribution have developed. Professional athletes are often the role models of adolescent and young adult populations, who often mimic their behaviors, including the abuse of drugs. This review of doping within international sports is to inform the international psychiatric community and addiction treatment professionals of the historical basis of doping in sport and its spread to vulnerable athletic and non-athletic populations".
Implication. The World Anti-Doping Agency program and system of drug-testing has failed to stem the use of drugs in sports. While it has created the perception that many sportspersons are using drugs that enhance performance, which might be an unfortunate outcome, by adopting a diabolical abolition program based on creating fear it has failed to influence individuals outside of the targeted "top athletes" upon which it has concentrated. It is time to start all over again with a more humane model that is built on effective procedures of behavior modification.
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