Article #32 of 50: I have made it a goal of mine to share at least 50 research articles with you to review in 2012. These articles will be shared with no opinion of mine, just purely the information provided in the research and where to go to read more about the topic. This weekly challenge will feature many different aspects of the field: strength, conditioning, nutrition, psychology, etc. If you would like to submit research articles to be included in this segment, please email me a PDF version of the peer reviewed journal article.

Scand J Med Sci Sports 20120: 22: 293–301.

There is evidence of a small but significant proportion of adolescents engaging in doping practices. Young athletes face very specific pressures to achieve results as they strive for a career at an elite level. This study used an anonymized questionnaire to survey 403 (12–21 years old) talented young athletes’ attitudes toward performance-enhancing substances and supplements. Two-thirds of the sample comprised males. Athletes were generally against the use of doping substances to enhance sporting performance. Within this generally unfavorable view, males tended to express a more permissive attitude toward performance-enhancing methods than females. Those convinced of the necessity of supplementation for sporting success were also more likely to express permissive attitudes. When asked whether they would take a ‘‘magic’’ drug that, while undetectable, would significantly enhance performance, the overwhelming majority of athletes said ‘‘no,’’ but many thought others would take the substance. Interestingly, there was a significant association between the projected use of the hypothetical drug by competitors and the individual respondent’s willingness to take the hypothetically ‘‘magic’’ substance. The study offers an insight into young athletes’ attitudes toward specific forms of performance enhancement, and the strength of their beliefs in the face of a tempting hypothetical scenario.

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