There’s a widespread public perception that substance use is rife among Australian athletes. Whenever I tell people I research substance use among athletes, the most common response is: “They’re all on it.”
But that perception is not backed up by the facts. Amid the headlines about cocaine in football, it’s worth looking at what research has revealed about drugs and elite athletes in Australian and overseas.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) is responsible for drug testing athletes and publicly publishes anti-doping rule violations.
For 2013-2014, ASADA conducted 6,540 tests, 2,215 of them in-competition.
ASADA’s figures show that there were a range of offences in a range of sports related to a range of substances. Of the 20 cases that had been concluded, nine came from the stimulants category – though none of those were cocaine.
A few years ago I looked at all the ASADA reports from 2000/01 to 2011/12 to try to work out roughly what athletes were being caught using.
source: the conversation