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Anti-doping programme and physicians
  1. Michael Petrou
  1. Cyprus Anti-Doping Authority, ‘Lefkotheo’ Indoor Hall, Makario Athletic Centre Avenue, Engomi, Nicosia CY-2400, Cyprus; petrou.m{at}


Lecture 1

The role of physicians in supporting athletes dates from the ancient times. Since the 18th century, it can be documented the role of physicians in the ‘doping’ of athletes with banned drugs. Today, even though governments, sport authorities and organised medicine abandon doping, a significant minority of physicians seem to continue playing a role in the doping of athletes. Several studies have shown that physicians are consulted by athletes and officials for advice on doping and the majority indicated not willing to prescribe doping substances without medical indication. Recent studies showed that the knowledge of the majority of physicians about doping agents and doping in general remains poor. Under the World Anti-Doping Program, the revised definition of doping includes physicians in the group of persons who can fulfil the elements of a doping offence. The Prohibited List clearly specifies the substances and methods prohibited in-, and out-of-competition while the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemption indicates the criteria for athletes who need, for therapeutic purposes, to use prohibited substances or methods. Through their unique relation with the athletes, physicians have an important role in discouraging doping in sport. For physicians, as with athletes, it is important to closely follow the changes on anti-doping regulations.

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