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General practitioners and doping in sport: attitudes and experience
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  1. P Laure1,2,
  2. C Binsinger2,
  3. T Lecerf2
  1. 1Laboratoire de Psychologie Appliquée “Stress et Société”, Université de Reims, Bât 6, Moulin de La Housse, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France
  2. 2Direction régionale et départementale de la Jeunesse et des Sports de Lorraine, 13, rue de Mainvaux, BP 69, 54139 Saint-Max Cedex, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Laure, DRDJS, BP 69, 54139 Saint-Max Cedex, France;
 patrick.laure{at}wanadoo.fr

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the attitudes to, and knowledge of, doping in sport of French general practitioners (GPs), and their contact with drug taking athletes on an everyday basis.

Methods: A total of 402 GPs were randomly selected from all over France and interviewed by telephone, using a prepared script.

Results: The response rate was 50.5% (153 men and 49 women; mean (SD) age 45.6 (5.6) years). Of the respondents, 73% confirmed that they had the list of banned products, and only 34.5% stated that they were aware of the latest French law, brought into effect in March 1999, concerning the fight against doping. Some 11% had directly encountered a request for prescription of doping agents over the preceding 12 months (the requested substances were mainly anabolic steroids, stimulants, and corticosteroids), and 10% had been consulted by an athlete who was using doping drugs and was frightened of the health risks (the substances used were mainly anabolic steroids). Over half (52%) of the GPs favoured the prescription of drug substitutions to athletes who used doping agents. According to 87.5% of respondents, doping is a public health problem, and 80% stated that doping is a form of drug addiction. Most (89%) said that a GP has a role to play in doping prevention, but 77% considered themselves poorly prepared to participate in its prevention.

Conclusion: The results suggest that (a) GPs have limited knowledge of doping and (b) are confronted with doping in their daily practice, at least occasionally.

  • doping
  • drugs
  • general practitioners
  • attitudes

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