Amateur doping: a survey on Sicilian population
In the last years, amateur doping phenomenon has caused many victims. In order to know the diffusion of this phenomenon, we conducted an online survey thanks to Google forms. We also converted on paper the same questionnaire and we administered it in many gyms in Palermo and Trapani (Sicily, Italy). The examined sample consists of 976 people aged between 14 and 65 (47.3% of them are women and 52.7% are men). We asked them if they had ever taken substances to improve their athletic performances: 25.8% of them answered affirmatively and declared to take protein, amino acids, but also Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin on a regular basis (34.6%). They bought these substances in sporting stores (32.2%), in pharmacy without prescription (26.8%), on the Internet (22.8%), in gyms (10.7%); 7.5% of them answered that they bought substances in other places. Furthermore, 17.9% of them declared that training companions, but also coaches and/or responsible of sports societies, proposed them to take doping-substances (Stanazolol, Tamoxifen, Testosterone, Erythropoietin, etc.). 16.8% of interviewed claimed that it is right to take substances with the purpose to improve their performances. However, 95% of respondents said they had never given such substances to their children. They also declared they wanted more information about the true risks related to uncorrected doping-substances intake. In conclusion, it appears necessary to adopt measures of information and prevention to reduce the diffusion of this dangerous phenomenon.
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