U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

USADA logo.

Global DRO logo in whiteSearch Medications & Ingredients

Athlete Perceptions Survey: Key Outcomes

Key Outcomes from Eight Areas of Athlete Perception on Doping and Anti-Doping Efforts

Click here to see the full results of the Athlete Perception Survey.

Win-At-All Costs Culture

The focus on a win-at-all costs culture was commonly shared, with 61% of athlete respondents believing the spotlight only focuses on athletes who are winning, while 57% feel that athletes in their sport should speak out more against doping. More than 60% felt pressured by sports to win medals.

Reputation and Legacy

Nearly half (48%) of respondents worry about how they are perceived when not succeeding, as 95% want to leave a positive reputation behind. More than 90% of respondents would feel ashamed if they were caught using PEDs.

Support for Testing

More than 80% of respondents recognize the importance of both blood and urine testing to help keep their sport clean. Nearly 75% of respondents believe there are at least a few competitors in their sport who use PEDs. Elite athletes are tested frequently, with 72% of respondents being drug tested as many as five times in 2016. While just two percent of respondents don’t want to be tested at all, 45% of the respondents are willing to be tested as often as needed. Over 35% of respondents don’t believe their international competitors are tested adequately.

Access to Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Most athletes didn’t know whether it would be difficult or easy to obtain performance-enhancing drugs of a wide variety, but 26% think it would be easy to procure diuretic agents, while 14% think it’s easy to procure anabolic agents. When it comes to coaches (92%) and parents (92%), a vast majority of respondents believe there is no chance at all these individuals would help them procure PEDs. Only 2% believe there is a very good chance that other athletes would help them procure PEDs, while only 3% believe there is a very good chance that medical personnel would help them procure PEDs.

Harm to Athlete Health

A vast majority believe that narcotics (82%), anabolic agents (81%), peptide hormones (75%), and stimulants (74%) cause harm to an athlete’s health. Athlete respondents remain divided on whether or not marijuana causes harm to an athlete’s health.

Supplement Use

A majority of athletes take either a health and well-being supplement (85%) or an energy supplement (81%), while 94% of respondents do not use muscle-growth enhancing supplements and 92% do not use weight-loss supplements.

Deterrence in Doping

Four-percent of respondents would feel tempted to use PEDs if suggested by their coach, while 5% of respondents would be tempted to use PEDs if most of their competitors or teammates were using it. Less than 10% said they would feel tempted to use PEDs even if their financial well-being was threatened, while less than 5% of respondents would be tempted to use PEDs even if there was a slim chance of being caught.

USADA'S role in Anti-Doping

Ninety-three percent of respondents support USADA’s mission to protect clean sport, while more than 90% of respondents are willing to take a stand to promote the integrity of their sport.

Scroll to Top