News, Culture & Society

Doping-Report reveals high level of drug use in athletics

  • New study asked professional athletes about doping using anonymous surveys
  • Over 45 per cent of athletes at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games took banned drugs
  • Almost one in three 2011 world championship athletes took banned substances
  • But only 0.5 per cent of drugs tests at the world championships were positive, while the figure was 3.6 per cent at the Pan-Arab Games

Almost half of elite athletes taking part in an anonymous survey have privately admitted to doping, according to a new study.

More than 45 per cent of athletes at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games and over 30 per cent of 2011 world championship participants said they had taken banned drugs.

Only 0.5 per cent of drugs tests at the world championships were positive, while the figure was 3.6 per cent at the Pan-Arab Games.

Almost half of elite athletes partaking in any anonymous survey have privately admitted to doping. More than 45 per cent of athletes at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games and over 30 per cent of 2011 world championship participants said they had taken banned drugs (stock image)

DOPING 

Athletics is desperate to improve its tarnished image after a doping scandal led to the banning of Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 100 athletes have been found to have used drugs at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics during re-tests conducted last year by the International Olympic Committee.

In a new study based on anonymous surveys, more than 45 per cent of athletes at the 2011 Pan-Arab Games and over 30 per cent of 2011 world championship participants said they had taken banned drugs.

Only 0.5 per cent of drugs tests at the world championships were positive, while the figure was 3.6 per cent at the Pan-Arab Games. 

The surveys were part of a study conducted by researchers from Germany’s University of Tuebingen and Harvard Medical School in 2011.

‘The study shows that biological tests of blood and urine reveal only a fraction of doping cases,’ said coauthor Professor Harrison Pope, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

‘As described in the publication this is likely due to the fact that athletes have found numerous ways so as not to be caught during tests.’

The study’s release had been delayed for years as the researchers wrangled with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the international association of athletics federations (IAAF) over how it was to be published, researchers said.

It has now been published in Sports Medicine magazine.

WADA could not be immediately reached for comment.

The researchers asked a total of 2,167 athletes whether they had used banned substances – a combined total of 5,187 athletes competed at the two events.

The 2011 world athletics championships were held in Daegu, South Korea, while Qatar hosted the Pan-Arab Games that year.

A process of indirect questioning was used for the study in order to guard the athletes’ anonymity.

Only 0.5 per cent of drugs tests at the 2011 world championships were positive, while the figure was 3.6 per cent at the Pan-Arab Games that year

Only 0.5 per cent of drugs tests at the 2011 world championships were positive, while the figure was 3.6 per cent at the Pan-Arab Games that year

More than 90 per cent of athletes asked to take part agreed to do so.

Athletics is desperate to improve its tarnished image after a doping scandal led to the banning of Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 100 athletes have been found to have used drugs at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics during re-tests conducted last year by the International Olympic Committee.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk