EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 2, No. 2, 2010, 75-84
UDC 796.332-055.1:[316.644:615.035.3
ATTITUDE OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF DIFFERENT
SPORTING EXPERIENCE TOWARDS UNALLOWED
STIMULATIVE RECOVERY DRUGS
Miroslav Smaji„
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Novi Sad;
Dragoljub Bekvalac
Football Club ''Hajdukì, Kula
Alen Kapidûi„
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Tuzla
Abstract
Usage of unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery implies consuming or giving to others
substances which artificially improve physical and psychical condition of an athlete and thus
improve his/her success in sport. The goal of the study is to examine attitudes of football players
of various length of sports experience, towards unallowed stimulative substances for recovery.
The sample of examinees consists of 120 football players divided into two groups, on basis of
the sports experience length (first group: 4-8 years of sport experience, second group: 9-14
years). The sample of variables consists of a system of 10 items (claims) assessed on a 5-grade
scale. The importance of the differences between the groups was determined by a multivariate
and univariate analysis of variance, discriminative analysis, Royís test, Pearson's coefficient of
contingency and the coefficient of multiple correlation. It is evident that football players of
different length of sport experience differ among themselves in their attitudes towards unallowed
drugs for recovery, however, those differences are not big.
Keywords: unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery, football players, attitudes, length of sport
experience
Introduction
Usage of unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery implies consuming or giving to an
athlete those substances which artificially improve his physical and psychological condition and
thereby improve his success in sport. Consuming substances which can be synthetizied by a
healthy organism itself such as hormones (testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and others)
Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Lov„enska 16, 21000
Novi Sad, Serbia, e-mail: miroslav.smajic@gmail.com
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
75
M. Smaji et al.
also falls into the definition of doping. Doping substances differ by their chemical structure and
by their impact on athleteís body.
Some studies have lead to a conclusion that it is important to take measures in order to
help young athletes and people close to them (parents, coaches, friends, etc. ) to prevent the risks
related with doping (Llorens, 2008).
Usage and misusage of various performance enhancing drugs has been recorded without
exception in all professions where success depends on physical abilities and performance
(Sekuli„, Kosti„ & Mileti„, 2008).
Numerous studies have tried to find out motives for usage of doping. High-ranking
sportsmen are motivated to use performance enhancing drugs mainly in order to maintain or
improve physical functioning, cope better with social or psychological pressures or to realize
social and psychological goals. Majority of sportsmen have a negative attitude towards doping in
sport, insisting that it is necessary to undertake certain concrete steps to prevent the usage of
performance enhancing drugs in sport. Besides, they are concerned with the ways tests are
performed, in other words, about reliability and integrity of the testing procedure. Although the
evidence gained through numerous research projects in that area is scarce, it is evident that
athletes ask for more intensive doping tests, and express their wish that more information is
obtained by the National Administration bodies and anti-doping agencies (Backhouse, McKenna,
Robinson, & Atkin, 2006).
The beginnings of doping can be traced back in the distant past, since people have always
searched for a way to make a better performance in what they were doing or minimize fatigue. In
the modern sport which praises only the first places in competitions, athletes do not choose
means to realize their goals. Doing so, they pay little or no attention to many negative
consequences that occur frequently as a result of consumption of various non-approved
performance-enhancing drugs. A sportsman should be aware of the reasons for not consuming
those drugs before taking them is quite long and includes condemnation by family, friends and
general public, then financial punishment, taking back medals, and a series of health
consequences (hormonal disorders, tumours, heart attacks, and stroke) (Pipe & Ayote, 2002).
Some authors point out that the most dangerous problem of usage of doping is the threat
that the consequences may occur in the following generations (Nagli„ & Miloöevi„,
2006).
Majority of sportsmen have not developed addiction to the improving performances or addiction
to the performance of enhancing drugs. However, in practice there are individuals who go in for
sport and use the performance-enhancing drugs intensively and thereby have been exposed to a
greater risk of development of diseases and syndrome of addiction (Franques, Auriacombe, &
Tignol, 2001).
Sportsmen spend much more time recovering than training. However, much attention has
been paid to training and little to recovery. The recovery can be divided into three groups: (1)
recovery immediately after the strain; (2) shortñterm recovery between repeated actions (for
example between sets of resistance or fight intervals, and (3) training recovery between trainings
(Bishop, Jones, & Woods, 2008).
Great attention has been paid nowadays to unapproved, non-allowed stimulative drugs for
recovery. However, in our country there is little research in the area of usage of these drugs,
especially if we are speaking about studies that are methodologically correct. That is why only
the papers mainly referring to the attitude of sportsmen towards training process (which is in
function of preparation system) and training or some other recovery drugs can be used in a
comparative study (Smaji„, Molnar, & Popovi„, 2009; Smaji„, Molnar, Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009,
Smaji„, Tomi„, Kapidûi„, & Joksimovi„, 2009; Smaji„, Mihajlovi„, & Bekvalac, 2010).
Comparing attitudes towards sport (of sportsmen of various competition ranks and non-
athletes), the studies have shown that sportsmen of lower rank competitions had the highest
76
Attitude of football players towards doping
value of the general attitude towards sport, high-rank competition sportsmen had somewhat
lower values, while non-sportsmen had mainly positive general attitude towards sport (Havelka
& Lazarevi„, 1981).
Reasons why usage of unallowed stimulative recovery drugs is banned are of health
nature (various groups of these drugs cause many different, mostly harmful consequences on
health) and ethical (consuming various performance enhancing drugs is in opposition to basic
sport principles; sport competitions should be competitions of participants, not pharmacologists
and physicians; from medical point of view, it is wrong to give drugs to a healthy person, and
different synthetical substances can cause unwanted side effects). Besides, practical experiences
lead to a conclusion that the doping problem is becoming more and more a legal problem,
placing medical and other aspects (sociological and ethical) in the second place (Malacko &
Radjo, 2004.). The goal of this research is to examine attitudes of football players of different
length of sporting experience towards unallowed stimulative drugs for recovery.
Method
The examinees sample consists of
120 football players from
9 clubs of various
competition ranks within the area of the Football Association of Vojvodina (Super league of
Serbia = 43, First League of Serbia = 40 and Serbian League = 37), who have been divided in
two groups according to their sport experience length (first group (62) with 4-8 years of sport
experience, second group (58) 9-14 years).
The variable sample was made up of 10 items (claims) which have been assessed on a
five- grade scale
(completely disagree, partially disagree, indecisive, partially agree, completely
agree). The items applied in the study were: 1. In spite of the possible bad consequences on
health, in order to achieve the best possible results, sportsmen should take unallowed, non-
approved stimulative drugs
(stimulants, narcotics, anabolics);
2. A sportsman should take
unapproved stimulative drugs only in case he/she wants to recover as soon as possible for further
training; 3. Unapproved stimulative drugs are not harmful for the athletesí health. 4. Athletes
should take narcotic analgesics (morphine, methadone, etc.) in case of an injury to be able to
withstand the strain ìunder the influence of the shotî; 5. Athletes may use blood doping; 6. The
use of alcohol and marijuana is completely forbidden in sports; 7. Taking various medicinal
substances is contrary to basic sport principles; 8. It is athletes who should compete in sport, and
not pharmacologists or doctors; 9. From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a
healthy person; 10. Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of unwanted side effects and
can have very serious consequences for the athletes' health, and thus should not be used (data on
the author of the questionnaire are missing).
In order not to lose information and bearing in mind the non-parametric nature of the
data, the data have been scaled on the tables of contingency. On basis of frequency, each class
has got a real number. The fact that it is possible to apply steps related with the ratio scale on the
scaled values, shows that in this way it is possible to reach new knowledge in research work
which could not have been obtained applying steps and methods related with non-parametric
scales. Scaling of the data does not exclude application of non-parametric tests, so that on the
scaled data it is possible to apply the Multivariate analysis of variance
(MANOVA),
discriminative analysis, and other parametric steps and methods. Several univariant steps were
applied: Royís test, Pearsonís coefficient of contingency (), coefficient of multiple correlation
(R).
77
M. Smaji et al.
Results
Tables 1-10 show the frequencies of the examineesí answers (both at individual and at
the whole sample level) about the unallowed stimulative recovery substances.
Table 1
Frequency of answers to item 1 ñ Regardless of the negative consequences for the health, for the
sake of attaining good results, athletes should take unallowed stimulative substances (stimulants,
narcotics, anabolics)
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
56
3
3
-
-
62
II
56
2
0
-
-
58
112
5
3
-
-
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 2
Frequency of answers to item 2 ñ An athlete should take unallowed stimulative substances only
when s/he wants a faster recovery
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
48
11
2
1
-
62
II
52
6
0
0
-
58
100
17
2
1
-
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 3
Frequency of answers to item 3 ñ Unallowed stimulative substances are not harmful for athletesí
health
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
54
5
1
-
2
62
II
56
2
-
-
-
58
110
7
1
-
2
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
78
Attitude of football players towards doping
Table 4
Frequency of answers to item ñ Athletes should take narcotic analgesics (morphine, methadone,
etc.) in the event of an injury to be able to withstand the strain ìwhile on the shotî
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
50
7
4
1
-
62
II
54
3
1
-
-
58
104
10
5
1
-
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 5
Frequency of answers to item 5 ñ Athletes may use blood doping
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
15
14
14
17
2
62
II
2
6
14
31
5
58
17
20
28
48
7
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 6
Frequency of answers to item 6 ñ The use of alcohol and marijuana is completely forbidden in sport
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
3
1
-
8
50
62
II
1
1
-
6
50
58
4
2
-
14
100
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 7
Frequency of answers to item 7 ñ Taking various medical substances is contrary to basic sport
principies
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
7
28
5
12
10
62
II
2
9
-
19
28
58
9
37
5
31
38
120
79
M. Smaji et al.
Table 8
Frequency of answers to item 8 ñ It is athletes who should compete in sport, and not
pharmacologists or doctors
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
1
-
1
1
59
62
II
1
-
-
4
53
58
2
-
1
5
112
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 9
Frequency of answers to item 9 ñ From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a
healthy person
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
2
-
1
3
56
62
II
-
1
-
3
54
58
2
1
1
6
110
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Table 10
Frequency of answers to item 10 ñ Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of undesired
side effects and can have very serious consequences on athletes' health, and thus should not be
used
completely
partially
partially
completely
indecisive
disagree
disagree
agree
agree
I
-
1
2
2
57
62
II
-
1
-
3
54
58
-
2
2
5
111
120
I ñ 4-8 yrs. of sport experience, II ñ 9-14 yrs. of sport experience
Results of the multivariate analysis (MANOVA) are shown in Table 2. Based on obtained
results, it can be determined that the two groups of examinees formed on basis of their length of
sport experience, statistically speaking, significantly differ at the level of p=0.02.
80
Attitude of football players towards doping
Table 11
Multivariate significance of differences between football players with different sporting
experience with respect to their attitude to non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery
F
p
2.324
.01603
The univariate analysis (Table 12) shows that statistically significant differences exist in
four statements (items under ordinal numbers 5, 7, 9, 10). Out of the four statements, the largest
F test is in statement 7 with the largest significance of p=0.01. The statement in the question is
"Taking various medical substances is contrary to the basic sport principles". Differences in the
attitude towards blood doping (item 5) are significant at a level of p=0.03, while the differences
in items 9 and 10 ("From a medical standpoint it is wrong to give medication to a healthy
person" and " Various synthetic medicines can cause all sorts of unwanted side effects and can
have very serious consequences for the athletes' health, and thus should not be used") are at a
border level of significance.
Based on value of Pearson correlation coefficient (R) and contingency coefficient (Table
12) it can be concluded that correlation of opinions to length of service of an athlete is very low,
i.e. it can be said that their opinions do not depend on their length of service in the sport.
Table 12
Univariate significance of difference between football players of different sporting experience
regarding their attitude to non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery
Roy's test and ANOVA
Cr = .0337
R
CHI
F
p
Disc. Coef.
1
.0170
.1292
2.0386
.1560
-
2
.0287
.1669
3.4824
.0645
-
3
.0183
.1339
2.1947
.1411
-
4
.0222
.1475
2.6849
.1040
-
5
.0406
.1976
4.9954
.0273
-
6
.0171
.1297
2.0527
.1546
-
7
.0613
.2403
7.7026
.0064
.06
8
.0256
.1579
3.0982
.0810
-
9
.0326
.1776
3.9716
.0486
.03
10
.0346
.1829
4.2295
.0419
-
81
M. Smaji et al.
By analyzing the results obtained (Tables 13 and 14) it can be seen that the opinions that
most discriminated the two groups were 5 and 7, the ones that do make the discriminative
function structure at p=0.00.
Table 13
Discriminative significance of differences between football players of different sport experience
regarding their attitude to ìnon-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
n
F
p
2
10.716
.0014
The differences obtained are in favour of the second group (with sporting experience of
over 8 years), which is obvious from the centroid values (Table 14).
Table 14
Centroids and the borderline between football players of different sporting experience with
respect to their attitude to "non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
GROUPS
1
2
CENTROIDS
-.514
.549
BORDER LINE
0.18
Table 15
Homogeneousness between football players of different sporting experience with respect to their
attitude to "non-allowed stimulative substances for recovery"
N
%
1
30/62
48.38
2
43/58
74.13
In statement 5 (Athletes may use blood doping) the football players from the second
group have given a larger number of negative answers, which shows their being better informed
in connection with this forbidden method. In statement 7 (Taking various medicinal substances is
contrary to the basic sport principles) the second group with longer sporting experience (9 to 14
years) has given the opinions that are in accordance with the statement, which can again be
ascribed to the better understanding of the negative effect of using synthetic medication in sport.
It should be pointed out that even though there is a statistically significant discrimination
function, the differences between these two groups with respect to the length of sport experience
are not explicit, which is also evident from the relatively low homogeneousness of the first group
(Table 15). Namely, a large number of football players of shorter length of sport experience
(nearly 50%) have the same opinion profile like the ones from the second group (longer sporting
experience).
82
Attitude of football players towards doping
Discussion
Generally speaking, it can be noticed that football players of different sporting experience
differ; however those differences are not explicit. The groups are very similar when it comes to
opinions about unallowed stimulative substances for recovery, unlike in previous research
projects where the difference was explicit (Smaji„, Molnar, & Popovi„, 2009, Smaji„, Molnar,
Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009; Smaji„, Tomi„ et al., 2009, Smaji„ et al., 2010). It should only be
pointed out that while determining the opinions of the player groups, they differed most in the
statement about taking various medical substances (item 7); this was also the case regarding the
opinions of players from various leagues (Smaji„, Molnar, Popovi„, & Tomi„, 2009). Some
authors have hold the view that players aged between 18 and 24 are best informed about doping
(Sas-Nowosielski, & ⁄wi¹tkowska, 2007).
With respect to the issue of using unallowed stimulative substances for the recovery of
athletes, the examinees were unanimous in their opinions that they do not want to use those as
they are harmful for athletes' health; they were also unanimous with respect to taking stimulative
substances stating that it is contrary to the basic sport principles. However, their opinions
regarding blood doping were divided.
The respondents' opinions about alcohol and marijuana use (most of them agreed with the
statement that those are completely forbidden in sports) indicate to their lack of knowledge
regarding the legal regulations of the International Olympic Committee (Backhouse et al., 2006).
It can be concluded that in connection with using prohibited stimulative substances for recovery,
athletes are not sufficiently informed neither about the health, ethic and legal regulations, nor
about the consequences of using such substances. It is necessary that athletes in the sports clubs
be better informed and educated about prohibited stimulative substances for recovery through
adequate professional brochures, lectures and talks with experts.
A key step in athletes' education probably involves collecting data and creating a greater
database based on more information submitted by top athletes with respect to their opinions and
experiences about doping, all for the benefit of further research into this very complex issue
(Backhouse et al. 2006).
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Submitted October 18, 2010
Accepted December 14, 2010
84