Drugs in sports

October 30, 2012, 10:09 AM GMT+0

A majority of the public believe there is a problem with performance enhancing drugs in cycling and athletics, according to our survey.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of the British public say that performance enhancing drugs are a problem in cycling, and three in five (60%) think this is also true of athletics.

32% of Britons think that drug-use in cycling is a widespread problem, compared to only 10% who said that this used to be a problem in the sport but is not anymore. This follows the recent ruling by the United States Anti-Doping Agency which has placed a lifetime ban on professional cyclist Lance Armstrong for using performance enhancing drugs during his career.

With regard to athletics, a fifth (21%) of the public believe performance enhancing drugs are a problem throughout the sport, compared to 39% who think this is not a widespread issue. Only 1% of people say athletics has never had a problem with performance enhancing drugs.

Football, Swimming and Rugby

More people think that drugs are a problem in football, rugby and swimming than those who believe the sports have overcome this issue or that they never had a problem.

  • Over a third (35%) of the public said there is a problem of performance enhancing drugs in football, compared to one in ten (10%) who think the sport is now clean and 12% who say this was never an issue
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of Britons believe drugs are a problem in rugby, while 8% say it has overcome this problem and nearly one in five (19%) do not think drugs ever posed a problem in this sport
  • 30% of people say drugs are a problem in swimming, with only 11% thinking this sport used to have a problem but does not anymore and one in ten (10%) believing drugs have never been an issue

Cricket, Tennis and Golf

In comparison, a greater number of the British public believe that performance enhancing drugs have not ever been a problem for cricket, tennis and golf than those who say drugs are an issue for these sports.

  • Over a quarter (27%) of Britons think there has never been a problem with drugs in cricket, compared to less than one in five (18%) who believe this is an ongoing problem
  • 24% of the public think tennis has never had an issue with drugs, while just over a sixth (16%) think this is a problem in the sport
  • Over four in ten (41%) people believe drugs were never a problem in golf, compared to only 10% who said golf has a drugs issue

See the full survey results here