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Public perception of sport anti-doping policy in Australia
journal contributionposted on 27.11.2018, 00:00 by T Engelberg, Stephen MostonStephen Moston, J Skinner
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 (n¼2520) 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 antidoping legislation maintains strong public support.