Elite athletes' perspectives on providing whereabouts information : a survey of athletes in the Norwegian registered testing pool
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonSport und Gesellschaft : Zeitschrift für Sportsoziologie, Sportphilosophie, Sportökonomie, Sportgeschichte. 2009, 6(1), 30-46
This paper reports on the perspectives of elite athletes on anti-doping work in general and on the whereabouts system in particular, and uses a figurational perspective to explore the unintended consequences of the planned introduction of the whereabouts system. A cross-sectional survey of all the athletes in the Norwegian registered testing pool (n = 236, response rate = 80.8%) was carried out in 2006, using a structured questionnaire. Overall, 70.6% of the athletes agreed that doping was a problem in elite sport in general, but paradoxically only 17.5% agreed that doping was a problem in their own sport. However, more than four in ten (43%) of the athletes agreed that the whereabouts information system made a contribution to a "cleaner" sport. Some athletes thought the system was unfair. The whereabouts information system had, despite all good intentions, outcomes other than those planned and intended by the WADA. Thus, athletes' views might fruitfully be integrated with other perspectives when anti-doping work is developed further.