AffiliationUniversity College Chester
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AbstractThe objective of this paper is systematically to examine evidence relating to the prevalence and the changing patterns of drug use in British sport in the period from the 1960s to the present. There are four major sources of information about the prevalence of drug use among athletes: investigative journalism, including the writings and testimonials of athletes and others involved in sport; formal investigations, which may have legal or quasi-legal powers; surveys; and results from drug testing. The methodological problems associated with these sources of data are discussed. It is concluded that the data suggest that since the 1960s there has been a substantial increase in the use of performance-enhancing drugs by British athletes. More particularly the data suggest that, in athletics, the use of drugs has spread from the heavy throwing events to many other track and field events, and that it has spread from athletics and weightlifting - the sports in which drugs were most frequently used in the 1960s - to many other sports. The use of performance-enhancing drugs has also spread down from the elite to much lower levels, while the use of drugs is now widespread among non-competitive recreational athletes in other sport-related contexts such as gymnasiums.
CitationSport in History, 25(3), 2005, pp. 472-496
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalSport in History
DescriptionThis article is not available through ChesterRep.