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Inside the locker room: a qualitative study of coaches’ anti-doping knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
journal contributionposted on 03.05.2018, 00:00 by T Engelberg, Stephen Moston
It is widely assumed that coaches have an effect on athletes’ doping behaviours; however, the means by which this influence can be manifested are only superficially understood. The present study seeks to understand how coaches see their role in directly and indirectly influencing the doping attitudes and behaviours of athletes. Fourteen elite-level coaches participated in focus group discussions. Coaches displayed a low level of knowledge of banned methods and practices. While it was acknowledged that doping was prevalent in sport, coaches believed that doping was not a problem in their own sport, since doping does not aid in the development or implementation of sporting ‘skills’. While the findings suggest that coaches support the revised WADA Code, with increased sanctions for coaches, the findings also highlight how coaches may indirectly and inadvertently condone doping. This may be through inaction or the apparent endorsement of pro-doping expectancies.