Reasons behind doping

What drives athletes to take prohibited substances and thus unfairly improve their performance?


There are many reasons, and they vary from athlete to athlete and from situation to situation.

Pressure to perform

Some athletes feel under considerable pressure to perform at their best, either from outside or from themselves, and resort to doping as they cannot see any other way. Even young athletes at the beginning of their career are susceptible to this pressure.



Injuries are part and parcel of elite sport, and lengthy physical restrictions and problems can lead athletes to take banned substances in an attempt to accelerate the healing process.



Many athletes do not know precisely which substances and methods are on WADA’s official prohibited list. This ignorance can, for example, result in a positive doping test through the wrong diet or food supplements.


Performance limits

Some athletes cannot or will not accept their natural limits and deliberately resort to prohibited substances or methods to enhance their performance.



Training hard and preparing thoroughly for competitions and games is sometimes not enough, and many athletes then see the taking of banned substances as the only solution.