Omer Ozkan1, Serife Seyma Torgutalp1, Omer Serkan Kara1, Gurhan Donmez1, Haydar Demire1,2, Yigitcan Karanfil3, Melda Pelin Yargic4, Feza Korkusuz1

1Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Sports Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
2Hacettepe University, Faculty of Sport Science, Ankara, Turkey
3Mersin State Hospital, Mersin, Turkey
4Necmettin Erbakan University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Sports Medicine, Konya, Turkey

Doping Knowledge and Attitudes of Turkish Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2020, 9(1), 49-55 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.200307


The use of prohibited substances in the world of sport, in and out of competition, is a major global problem. A number of similar studies have been conducted in other parts of the world that investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of athletes about doping. The results of those studies cannot entirely be extrapolated to elite Turkish athletes. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate elite athletes’ current knowledge of appropriate drug use, doping and use of supplements, and to explore the need for further education on these topics. A total of 202 Turkish athletes participated in this descriptive cross-sectional study. The data were collected through a questionnaire. A five-point Likert scale was used for questions. The most commonly used over-the-counter medications by athletes were painkillers (78.2%). A remarkable proportion of athletes considered painkillers (41.1%), protein powder (43.1%), and caffeine (41.1%) to be prohibited drugs. According to the athletes, physicians (84.6%) and coaches (78.6%) were the two most frequently used sources of information, and 87.6% of the athletes found the physician to be the most reliable source of information. Elite athletes have poor knowledge about doping in Turkey. There is an urgent need for educational anti-doping programmes to address the knowledge gaps observed amongst athletes in this study.


Turkish athletes, doping in sports, surveys and questionnaires

View full article
(PDF – 92KB)


Ama, P. F. M., Betnga, B., Ama Moor, V. J., & Kamga, J. P. (2003). Football and doping: study of African amateur footballers. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(4), 307–310.

Backhouse, D. S., Kenna, P. J., Robinson, P. S., & Atkin, M. A. (2007). Attitudes, Behaviours, Knowledge and Education – Drugs in Sport: Past, Present and Future. Carnegie Research Institute Leeds Metropolitan – World Anti-Doping Agency, 1-199. Retrieved from

Bloodworth, A., & McNamee, M. (2010). Clean Olympians? Doping and anti-doping: The views of talented young British athletes. International Journal of Drug Policy, 21(4), 276–282.

Burke, L. M. (2017). Practical Issues in Evidence-Based Use of Performance Supplements: Supplement Interactions, Repeated Use and Individual Responses. Sports Medicine, 47(S1), 79–100.

Corrigan, B., & Kazlauskas, R. (2003). Medication use in athletes selected for doping control at the Sydney Olympics (2000). Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine : Official Journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, 13(1), 33–40.

Hall, M., & Trojian, T. H. (2013). Creatine Supplementation. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 12(4), 240–244.

Malek, S., Taylor, J., & Mansell, K. (2014). A questionnaire examining attitudes of collegiate athletes toward doping and pharmacists as information providers. Canadian Pharmacists Journal / Revue Des Pharmaciens Du Canada, 147(6), 352–358.

Moran, A., Guerin, S., Kirby, K., & MacIntyre, T. (2008). The development and validation of a doping attitudes and behaviour scale. Newtownabbey: School of Sports Studies, University of Ulster.

Morente-Sánchez, J., & Zabala, M. (2013). Doping in Sport: A Review of Elite Athletes’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Knowledge. Sports Medicine, 43(6), 395–411.

Murofushi, Y., Kawata, Y., Kamimura, A., Hirosawa, M., & Shibata, N. (2018). Impact of anti-doping education and doping control experience on anti-doping knowledge in Japanese university athletes: a cross-sectional study. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 13(1), 44.

Muwonge, H., Zavuga, R., & Kabenge, P. A. (2015). Doping knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Ugandan athletes’: a cross-sectional study. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 10(1), 37.

Ozdemir, L., Nur, N., Bagcivan, I., Bulut, O., Sümer, H., & Tezeren, G. (2005). Doping and performance enhancing drug use in athletes living in sivas, mid-anatolia: a brief report. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 4(3), 248–252.

Petróczi, A., & Strauss, B. (2015). Understanding the psychology behind performance-enhancement by doping. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16, 137–139.

Pope, H. G., Wood, R. I., Rogol, A., Nyberg, F., Bowers, L., Bhasin, S., & Bhasin, S. (2014). Adverse health consequences of performance-enhancing drugs: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine Reviews, 35(3), 341–375.

Reardon, C. L., & Creado, S. (2014). Drug abuse in athletes. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 5, 95–105.

Seif Barghi, T., Halabchi, F., Dvorak, J., & Hosseinnejad, H. (2015). How the Iranian Football Coaches and Players Know About Doping? Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 6(2), e24392.

Tack, C., Shorthouse, F., & Kass, L. (2018). The Physiological Mechanisms of Effect of Vitamins and Amino Acids on Tendon and Muscle Healing: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 28(3), 294–311.

The Prohibited List | World Anti-Doping Agency. (n.d.).

Timothy Au. (2017). As remarkable growth of sports industry continues, exclusive data analysis reveals the key trademark trends. Available at:

Tscholl, P., Alonso, J. M., Dollé, G., Junge, A., & Dvorak, J. (2010). The Use of Drugs and Nutritional Supplements in Top-Level Track and Field Athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(1), 133–140.

Tscholl, P. M., Vaso, M., Weber, A., & Dvorak, J. (2015). High prevalence of medication use in professional football tournaments including the World Cups between 2002 and 2014: a narrative review with a focus on NSAIDs. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(9), 580–582.

WADA launches new anti-doping eLearning platform (ADeL) | World Anti-Doping Agency. (2018). Available at: