Allen J, Dimeo P, Morris R, Dixon S & Robinson L (2013) Precipitating or prohibiting factor? Examining coaches’ perspectives of their role in doping and anti-doping. World Anti-Doping Agency. Social Science Research Scheme. World Anti-Doping Agency Social Science Research Scheme. http://www.wada-ama.org/en/Education-Awareness/Social-Science/Funded-Research-Projects/
Purpose: The purpose of this research was to examine coaches' attitudes, awareness, and perceptions of their role and actions in athletes' doping and anti-doping behaviour.
Rationale: Research examining athletes' attitudes and behaviours in relation to doping has identified coaches as a potential precipitating factor (e.g., Backhouse, Atkin, McKenna, Robinson, 2007; Dimeo, Allen, Taylor, Robinson, 2012; Kirby, Moran, Guerin, 2011; Lazuras, Barkoukis, Rodafinos, 2010) and a protective or prohibiting factor in athlete doping (e.g., Backhouse et al, 2007; Cléret, 2011; Dimeo et al, 2012; Dubin, 1990; Kirby et al., 2011). However, little is known about coaches' perceptions and awareness of their role in doping and anti-doping.
Method: Twenty-three coaches working with performance athletes in Scotland participated in the study (Men = 17, Women = 6; average age = 42.6 years; average coaching experience = 19.0 years). Coaches participated in semi-structured interviews where they discussed general coaching roles, awareness of and attitudes towards doping and anti-doping, perceptions of their role and actions in doping and anti-doping and their experiences with anti-doping education and support.
Results: Role frame. The 12 higher order themes relating to the coaches' role frame were organised into internal components (personal beliefs and values) and boundary components (influential situational factors).
Results: Reflective conversation. The 22 lower order themes relating to the reflective conversation around doping and anti-doping were organised into Schön's four concepts: issue appreciation, strategy, action, and evaluation. The priority assigned to anti-doping was reflective of the extent to which doping was deemed problematic in their sport. The more doping was identified as an issue, the greater the engagement in structured and planned anti-doping activities.