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Football and doping: study of African amateur footballers
  1. P F M Ama1,
  2. B Betnga1,
  3. V J Ama Moor2,
  4. J P Kamga3
  1. 1National Institute of Youth and Sports, Yaounde, Cameroon
  2. 2Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaounde University I
  3. 3Yaounde University Teaching Hospital
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Ama, BP 2787, Yaounde, Cameroon;
 Pierre.ama{at} or pierreama{at}


Objective: To investigate use and awareness of lawful and unlawful substances by amateur footballers in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Methods: A total of 1116 amateur footballers (1037 male and 79 female) out of 1500 contacted participated in this study. They were divided into three groups: elite players (n = 314); local players (n = 723); female players (n = 79). They answered a questionnaire of 30 items grouped under six main topics: identification of players; use of lawful substances subject to certain restrictions on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list; use of IOC banned substances; doping behaviour; awareness of doping; food supplements. The results of the questionnaire were scrutinised using Microstat software, and the level of significance was p<0.05.

Results: (a) Use by our footballers of a banned substance (cocaine) and substances subject to certain restrictions (alcoholic drinks, methylated spirits, and banga (marijuana)). (b) Doping behaviour: use by our footballers of substances with similar effects to some IOC banned substances but not listed as such: tobacco, liboga, wie-wie (narcotic), bilibili (locally made alcohol drink). (c) A large intake of vitamin C (food supplements) in all three groups. In contrast, the footballers’ knowledge of doping was vague.

Conclusion: Preventive actions and an epidemiological study of doping among footballers are urgently required.

  • football
  • doping
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • smoking

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