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Doping in recreational Welsh Rugby Union; Athletes’ beliefs and perceptions related to Anti-Doping policy and practice

Luke Thomas Joseph Cox, Andrew Bloodworth Orcid Logo, Michael McNamee Orcid Logo

Performance Enhancement and Health, Volume: 10, Issue: 2, Start page: 100211

Swansea University Authors: Andrew Bloodworth Orcid Logo, Michael McNamee Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Understanding the attitudes and dispositions of athletes towards doping has been the subject of increasing research. Few studies, however, manage to capture these attitudes and dispositions from athletes who have committed anti-doping rule violations. According to UK Anti-Doping (2020) data, 10% of...

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Published in: Performance Enhancement and Health
ISSN: 2211-2669
Published: Elsevier BV 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa64686
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Abstract: Understanding the attitudes and dispositions of athletes towards doping has been the subject of increasing research. Few studies, however, manage to capture these attitudes and dispositions from athletes who have committed anti-doping rule violations. According to UK Anti-Doping (2020) data, 10% of all sanctioned athletes came from recreational levels of Welsh rugby union. Although there are significant doping concerns within Welsh rugby, no research investigations exist that examine this specific population. Uniquely, the present research sheds light on “doped” athletes within recreational Welsh rugby union. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with (n = 13) “doped” recreational Welsh rugby players. Interviews revealed a wide range of factors, including motivations for doping, drug use patterns, perceived harms and athletes’ experiences and perceptions of Anti-Doping Policy and practice. This study focuses on interviews where participants reveal a substantial disregard of Anti-Doping policy and practice and concerns surface across three main themes: (1) perceived lack of frequency related to doping control tests; (2) perceived lack of testing efficacy; and (3) advanced warning of doping controls by coaches. Not only does this data raise serious concerns for the integrity of sport at recreational levels, but it also challenges the discourses around perceived legitimacy of anti-doping therein.
Keywords: Doping, Rugby Union, Recreational sport, World Anti-Doping Agency, Deterrence
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This research was funded by Swansea University, Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS II) and Sport Wales.
Issue: 2
Start Page: 100211