The ADVICE Project Takes a Major Step Identifying Grassroots Doping Factors


The ADVICE Project Takes a Major Step Identifying Grassroots Doping Factors

23 June 2017

Fighting against doping at grassroots sport level is of paramount importance. Understanding the factors that can lead to dangerous behaviour is equally crucial. The ADVICE (Anti-Doping Values in Coach Education) Project, led by the University of Hull (England) with its consortium of partners – including TAFISA, and co-funded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, has taken a major step towards identifying the predicting factors of doping among young people.

Published on June 20th, 2017, in the Frontiers of Psychology journal, the article “Children’s First Experience of Taking Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids can Occur before Their 10th Birthday: A Systematic Review Identifying 9 Factors That Predicted Doping among Young People”, can be downloaded at


Read the abstract:

Taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) can cause serious and irreversible health consequences, which can ultimately lead to premature death. Some young people may take PEDs without fully understanding the ramifications of their actions or based on the advice from others. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify the main factors that predicted doping among young people. The literature was systematically reviewed using search engines, manually searching specialist journals, and pearl growing. Fifty-two studies, which included 187,288 young people aged between 10 and 21 years of age, 883 parents of adolescent athletes, and 11 adult coaches, who were interviewed regarding young athletes, were included in this review. Nine factors predicted doping among young people: gender; age; sports participation; sport type; psychological variables; entourage; ethnicity; nutritional supplements; and health harming behaviors. In regards to psychological variables, 22 different constructs were associated with doping among young people. Some psychological constructs were negatively associated with doping (e.g., self-esteem, resisting social pressure, and perfectionist strivings), whereas other were positively associated with doping (e.g., suicide risk, anticipated regret, and aggression). Policy makers and National Anti-Doping Organizations could use these findings to help identify athletes who are more at risk of doping and then expose these individuals to anti-doping education. Based on the current findings, it also appears that education programs should commence at the onset of adolescence or even late childhood, due to the young age in which some individuals start doping.