By putting the individual at the center of its concerns, our time has established performance, efficiency and differentiation. At work, in our daily life, in sport, surpassing oneself has become, over time, a cardinal value. This is also what the digital age, the era of numbers: everything is counted, weighed and weighed, measured. And from measure to comparison, there is only a small step, briskly taken. Mechanically, when two things are compared, one of the two is in a position of inferiority to the other, in failure. Surpassing oneself, fear of failure, fear of non-integration ... the temptation is thus great to have recourse to illusory safeguards to stay on this thread stretched over the precipice that is digging, every day more , our time, with a lot of modern myths or financial issues beyond any measure. How, when the techniques have never been so perfected and the methods so effective, protect young athletes against doping? How to spot doping behaviors? What are the signals that should trigger the alarms?
The first clues
Whether you are a doctor, trainer or just a parent, the first clues may seem anecdotal. This can be a request for a dietary supplement to manage the stress of an exam or the anxiety of a future public speaking or the use of a drug to fight against school or professional fatigue. Harmless in themselves, these behaviors should attract attention. We must take advantage of the moments of questioning and discussion that they raise to return to daily sporting practice and address the important question of substances (food supplements, drugs, etc.) consumed in the athletic context. It should always be kept in mind that it is mainly the medical prescriptions diverted from their first use (corticosteroids, beta-blocker, anxiolytic, sildenafil, anabolsants, beta-2 agonists, diuretics, narcotics, etc.) which are to be considered. origin of the first drifts towards doping behavior.
Doping conduct and doping
We talk about doping behavior when we use a product (vitamin, nutrient, narcotic, drug, etc.) to overcome an obstacle, real or supposed, whether in the school, university, professional or personal context.
Doping only concerns athletes who, in the context of their practice, whether in competition, in an event or during their training, use substances or methods listed on the list established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It's about, except exemption, a prohibited practice.
The determining factors
On average, boys are more used to doping behaviors than girls. However, they consume more vitamins and / or drugs to improve their academic performance or intellectual abilities than their male counterparts. However, the latter are much more focused on sports doping and improving physical performance.
Adolescence is a crucial age which sees the proliferation of doping behaviors.
Lack of confidence, poor self-esteem or even latent anxiety can betray difficulties in coping with everyday obstacles or at certain deadlines and lead to doping behaviors. The lack of preparation for failure or too much pressure, especially parental, too.
Lack of support
Like too much pressure from those around you, lack of recognition and support is one of the aggravating factors.
Athletes, especially the youngest, have the annoying tendency to withdraw, to persist and to refuse to ask for any help.
The taste of the forbidden
The attraction for new experiences and the seduction of the forbidden often explain the first use of prohibited substances or not (alcohol, cannabis, etc.).
Distance from home, isolation, loneliness, etc., should encourage increased vigilance.
The entourage, supervision, friends or family are not always free from all reproach. A good number of doping behaviors were initiated by relatives. The behavior of elders, coaches, teammates or colleagues is thus decisive.
The cult of performance
Beyond the pressure of the entourage, the disproportionate taste of the time for the performance and the spectacular, the attraction of the celebrity at all costs and the colossal financial stakes reinforce the recourse to doping.
Declare having used, at least once, products to improve their intellectual performance.
Declare having used, at least once, products to improve their physical performance.
What to do?
Awareness of the risks and the attention paid to the signs that we have just mentioned are already decisive steps on the road to prevention. Dialogue, awareness of the athlete, understanding of his problems, learning from failure, establishing a healthy and lasting relationship with his entourage, his supervision, his teammates and his friends, awareness of health risks, continuous and calm communication, benevolent monitoring and respect for performance complete an arsenal perfectly suited to reducing the risks of doping as much as possible.
Even at a delicate age such as adolescence, with its share of discomfort and conflict, these issues need to be addressed. If you have any fears, questions, doubts, or if you need any help, do not hesitate to contact us. The Monegasque Anti-Doping Committee is there to prevent, help and advise, well before intervening to sanction.