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Introduction: Doping and Public Health
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2885-0635
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science.
2016 (English)In: Doping and Public Health / [ed] Nader Ahmadi, Arne Ljungqvist, Göran Svedsäter, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 1, , p. 151p. 1-10Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of “doping” is usually associated with sport, particularly elite sport. In fact, doping means the use of substances or methods that are banned in sport by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because of their potentially performance-enhancing effects. Their use is, therefore, considered to be against the fair play spirit of sport and can also include significant health risks for the user. However, the use of many doping substances is no longer limited to the world of sport. Doping substances such as anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are nowadays used also by people who are not competitive athletes but who want to make use of the effects of AAS in making their bodies more muscular, stronger and impressive in conformity with the current masculine body ideal. The use of AAS and similar substances appears to be growing and has been found in a range of countries previously not researched. At least, recent data obtained from customs seizures, court cases and some surveys suggest that the extent of AAS use outside sport has been underestimated, some reasons probably being an underground circulation of such drugs in the gym and fitness culture and the easy availability of them on the internet. One particular concern is the increasing use of nutritional supplements by growing segments of society. A significant percentage of these products have been shown to contain prohibited substances such as steroids that are not listed on the label. This shows that the nutritional supplement industry needs to be more strictly regulated. Until that happens, supplements of dubious value, content and quality will continue to be easily available around the world. What, then, are the possible reasons that active and health-conscious individuals are willing to take the risk to use preparations such as AAS? A review of the research shows that the most important motive behind the use of AAS outside the elite sports environment, i.e., in a fitness context, is to improve physical appearance. Although most users are boys and young and middle-aged men, also women of various ages use doping substances. Different types of slimming pills are popular among women (including hormone preparations), but possibly even more interesting are the new female fitness and appearance ideals that are connected to muscles and strength. The body has become increasingly important for saying something about who we are. The hunt for the perfect appearance creates a situation where denial instead of acceptance of one’s own body influences the individual’s self-image.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 1. , p. 151p. 1-10
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Sport and Fitness Sciences Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21540ISI: 000386891400001ISBN: 978-1-138-91855-9 (print)ISBN: 9781317421108 (electronic)ISBN: 9781315688428 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21540DiVA, id: diva2:932833
Note

Editorial

Available from: 2016-06-02 Created: 2016-06-02 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Ahmadi, NaderSvedsäter, Göran

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