To explore use and attitudes toward drugs and dietary supplements
(DS) and knowledge concerning doping
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Elite under-23 male cyclists.
Anonymous semistructured questionnaire administered during race periods.
Main Outcome Measures:
Use and attitudes toward DS and drugs, and doping
Forty cyclists aged 19 to 23 years and practicing for 14 to 30 h/wk were interviewed. Previous use (last 3 months) of drugs or DS occurred in 33 of 40 (82.5%) and 39 of 40 (97.5%) cyclists, respectively. Almost all the subjects named at least 1 doping
agent (range, 1-10). Within a fixed list of 18 substances (among which only 14 were doping
agents), participants recognized 3 to 18 of them as doping
agents. They recognized tramadol and sildenafil as doping
agents, which are not doping
agents, and failed to recognize probenecid and albumin, which actually are. Doping
knowledge correlated with drug use (r2
= 0.1614; P
= 0.01). Participants deemed doping
prevalence high among cyclists in general but not in their own team (P
Use of prescription drugs and DS was a common occurrence. Doping
knowledge was poor and biased, and its relationship with drug use deserves consideration. Educational interventions are needed to improve knowledge and awareness about prescription drugs and DS use, as well as about doping