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  • 1.
    Ahmadi, Nader
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.
    Ljungqvist, ArneSvedsäter, GöranUniversity of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science.
    Doping and public health2016Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Doping – the use of performance-enhancing substances and methods – has long been a high-profile issue in sport but in recent years it has also become an issue in wider society. This important new book examines doping as a public health issue, drawing on a multi-disciplinary set of perspectives to explore the prevalence, significance and consequences of doping in wider society. It introduces the epidemiology of doping, examines the historical context, and explores the social, behavioural, legal, ethical and political aspects of doping. The book also discusses possible interventions for addressing the problem on organisational and societal levels.

  • 2.
    Ahmadi, Nader
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.
    Ljungqvist, Arne
    Svedsäter, Göran
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science.
    Introduction: Doping and Public Health2016In: 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.

  • 3.
    Ahmadi, Nader
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.
    Svedsäter, Göran
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science.
    "The winner takes it all": Individualization and Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Methods in Sport and in Society2016In: Doping and Public Health / [ed] Nader Ahmadi, Arne Ljungqvist, Göran Svedsäter, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 1, , p. 151p. 38-48Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A common misconception in today's society is that everything is (or should be) rational and goal-oriented, which we summarized earlier as pragmatic rationalism. We call this pragmatic rationalism a misconception because it misses a historical fact that individuals' actions are and have never been governed entirely by rational motives. Emotional, ethical and existential considerations influence human actions extensively. Solidarity, willingness to share and even self-sacrifice and prioritizing the good of others before one's own are values that have survived many different economic cultures. Even today's extremely individualized society with its focus on reaching success and winning at any price cannot completely suppress these values. There is an inherent contradiction between the crude egoism of modern individualism and its historical development that largely has its origin in the care of humans.

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