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Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

, 11:35

First Online: 10 October 2016Received: 05 March 2016Accepted: 07 October 2016DOI: 10.1186-s13011-016-0079-9

Cite this article as: Wippert, PM. & Fließer, M. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2016 11: 35. doi:10.1186-s13011-016-0079-9


BackgroundDoping presents a potential health risk for young athletes. Prevention programs are intended to prevent doping by educating athletes about banned substances. However, such programs have their limitations in practice. This led Germany to introduce the National Doping Prevention Plan NDPP, in hopes of ameliorating the situation among young elite athletes. Two studies examined 1 the degree to which the NDPP led to improved prevention efforts in elite sport schools, and 2 the extent to which newly developed prevention activities of the national anti-doping agency NADA based on the NDPP have improved knowledge among young athletes within elite sports schools.

MethodsThe first objective was investigated in a longitudinal study Study I: t0 = baseline, t1 = follow-up 4 years after NDPP introduction with N = 22 teachers engaged in doping prevention in elite sports schools. The second objective was evaluated in a cross-sectional comparison study Study II in N = 213 elite sports school students 54.5 % male, 45.5 % female, age M = 16.7 ± 1.3 years all students had received the improved NDDP measure in school; one student group had received additionally NADA anti-doping activities and a control group did not. Descriptive statistics were calculated, followed by McNemar tests, Wilcoxon tests and Analysis of Covariance ANCOVA.

ResultsResults indicate that 4 years after the introduction of the NDPP there have been limited structural changes with regard to the frequency, type, and scope of doping prevention in elite sport schools. On the other hand, in study II, elite sport school students who received further NADA anti-doping activities performed better on an anti-doping knowledge test than students who did not take part F1, 207 = 33.99, p <0.001, although this difference was small.

ConclusionThe integration of doping-prevention in elite sport schools as part of the NDPP was only partially successful. The results of the evaluation indicate that the introduction of the NDPP has contributed more to a change in the content of doping prevention activities than to a structural transformation in anti-doping education in elite sport schools. Moreover, while students who did receive additional education in the form of the NDPP-booster sessions- had significantly more knowledge about doping than students who did not receive such education, this difference was only small and may not translate to actual behavior.

KeywordsDoping Anti-doping program Anti-doping guideline Elite sports schools Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13011-016-0079-9 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Pia-Maria Wippert - Michael Fließer


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