Prevalence of drug misuse in sport
Meaningful data on the prevalence of use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport are difficult to obtain. Evidence may be as diverse as statistics on positive dope tests, results of surveys of athletes on their self-reporting or perceptions of drug use through to anecdotal reports and speculation by the media. These sources of evidence are widely inconsistent, leading to speculation of levels of prevalence of drug use ranging from less than 1 per cent to over 90 per cent. A number of studies have been undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of doping within individual countries or sports but these are, in the main, based on analysis of IOC and WADA statistics. The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate the published evidence and, where appropriate, to comment on the validity and accuracy of this evidence.