Drug misuse in elite sport is a world-wide phenomenon. This article explores the culture of contemporary sport, provides estimates of doping prevalence, discusses dietary supplementation and highlights major factors influencing high-performance athletes and their support personnel.


Doping in sport is a widespread problem not just among elite athletes, but even more so in recreational sports. In scientific literature, major emphasis is placed on doping detection, whereas detrimental effects of doping agents on athletes’ health are seldom discussed.

Performance-enhancing substances are used by adolescent athletes to help improve performance. Anabolic steroids (AS) are performance-enhancing substances that pose significant health problems when used by adolescents.

Drug abuse occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. Athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons, including for performance enhancement, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and retirement from sport.