Proceedings of the 5 th ESEA Conference
Public Opinion on Doping in Cycling: Differences among Population Groups
Despite the vast amount of literature available on doping in sports, little is known about how the general public actually thinks about doping. It is even more unclear how public opinion on doping differs within the population. Our questionnaire-based study for Flanders (Belgium), with a focus on doping in cycling, shows a strong disapproval of doping use by all respondents. There are statistically significant differences, though, among population groups. Cycling fans tend to be less negative towards doping in cycling than non-cycling fans. Cycling fans also express a clear feeling of their sport being treated unfairly compared to other sports. Furthermore, we observe some clear gender-based and age-based differences in opinion: women and older people are much more opposed to doping than men and younger people.
doping, cycling, public opinion, anti-doping policy, drugs
Understanding public opinion on doping is highly relevant for an effective and well-supported anti-doping policy. Still, despite the enormous amount of public discussion that goes on about anti-doping policies and the vast amount of literature available on doping in sports, little is known about how the general public actually thinks about doping. It is even more unclear how public opinion on doping differs within the population among groups of people.
The aim of this study is therefore to gain insight into popular belief on doping in sports. Our work is complementary to the research by Stamm et al. (2008), Solberg, Hanstad & Thöring (2010), Vangrunderbeek & Tolleneer (2011) and Moston,...
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