Public perception of sport anti-doping policy in Australia
Source: Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, Volume 19, Number 1, February 2012 , pp. 84-87(4)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:Aims: An implicit rationale for anti-doping legislation is that doping damages the public image of sport and that this, in turn, has serious consequences for the sporting industry. However, there is scant evidence that doping impacts on public opinion, and even less so that it has dire consequences for sports consumerism. This study sought to fill a void in public policy debate by canvassing public opinion on a range of anti-doping policies and practices.
Methods: A representative sample of the Australian public (n == 2520) responded to a telephone survey with questions on performance enhancing and illicit drug use.
Findings: The majority agreed that clubs should be penalized if athletes were found to use drugs and that companies and government should stop sponsoring athletes who have been using drugs. Opinion was split on the issue of whether performance-enhancing drug use should be criminalized (slight majority in favour).
Conclusions: These results show that the Australian public support anti-doping measures. As anti-doping initiatives become more widespread, invasive and costly, policy makers will need to ensure that anti-doping legislation maintains strong public support.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: 2Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland 4811, Australia 2: 4Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland 9726, Australia
Publication date: February 2012