Sport supplement use predicts doping likelihood via sport supplement beliefs

Hurst, P., Boardley, I., Ring, C. and Kavussanu, M. (2018) Sport supplement use predicts doping likelihood via sport supplement beliefs. In: European College of Sport Science 2018, 4-11 July, Dublin, Ireland. (In Press)

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Abstract

Introduction
The gateway hypothesis posits that athletes are at risk of progressing to doping if sport supplements are already used for performance enhancement. Recent research has indicated that athletes with stronger beliefs in the effectiveness of sport supplements in improving performance are more likely to use sport supplements (1). Hypothetically, therefore, if athletes’ beliefs about sports supplements influence supplement use, and if supplement use predicts doping (i.e. the gateway hypothesis), it is reasonable to suggest a relationship between beliefs about supplements and doping likelihood. However, this relationship remains untested. This study aimed to test the mediating role of sport supplement beliefs on the relationship between sport supplement use and doping likelihood.

Method
Four hundred and eighty one competitive athletes (mean + SD: age = 19.6 ± 2.2 yrs, hour per week training = 6.3 ± 4.5, years competing = 5.9 ± 4.6) were recruited from sports clubs and asked to complete measures of sport supplement use, sport supplement beliefs and doping likelihood.

Results
Sport supplement use was associated with sport supplement beliefs (r = 0.46, p <0.01) and doping likelihood (r = 0.14, p < 0.01), and sport supplement beliefs were correlated with doping likelihood (r = 0.22, p <0.01). Mediation analysis indicated that sport supplement beliefs significantly mediated the relationship between sport supplement use and doping likelihood (β = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.10 to 0.30), whereas sport supplement use was not directly related to doping likelihood (β = 0.04, 95% CI = -0.05 to 0.15).

Conclusion
The results of this study indicate sport supplement use predicts doping likelihood via sport supplement beliefs. These findings provide novel evidence to suggest that athletes using sport supplements are more likely to dope due to their belief in the effectiveness of these substances and could help further explain why athletes using sport supplements are more likely to progress to doping (i.e. gateway hypothesis).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0558 Sports science
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Philip Hurst
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2018 13:02
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 16:08
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17449

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00