Athletes & Drugs
"Professional sportspeople in any sport can fall victim to addiction for a number of reasons, it doesn't just happen to those who are perceived to have more successful careers and it doesn't just happen to those for whom maintaining their professional status is a constant battle. It doesn't just happen to men, it doesn't just happen to sportspeople from certain socio-economic backgrounds and it doesn't just happen to those who may have embraced the party lifestyle away from the sporting arena.
There are sufferers of addictive disorders in every walk of life outside sport and athletes are ultimately just the same. They're as susceptible to addiction as anyone else, and a high level of physical prowess and athleticism doesn't make them any more resistant to addiction.
Anyone can become an alcoholic or a drug addict, due to factors that may have absolutely nothing at all to do with their profession.
Athletes are, however, at a heightened risk of exposure to drug use. They may be prescribed substances to manage pain or to help them recover from injury, they may feel pressure to take substances to improve their performance, they may succumb to the temptations and pressures of attention from others that frequently comes with the job. This is before we even consider the impact of transition from a playing career into the 'real world' which some sportspeople can find is eased by alcohol, gambling and, yes - a wide variety of illegal and non-prescribed prescription drugs.
Drug use can frequently evolve into drug abuse, it often just needs time and any number of readily available extenuating circumstances in order to develop. There are actually a number of paths and substances people can fall into through professional sport, many of them geared towards improving performance or recovering from injury (sportingchance.com).
The use of banned substances, particularly performance-enhancing drugs, and other doping behaviour can severely damage the legitimacy of football and undermines the integrity of clean footballers.
All footballers have the right to play football knowing that they, their team-mates and the opposition, have not been using banned substances (which are referred to as “Prohibited Substances” in the Anti-Doping Regulations). The FA supports drug free football and works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to ensure that the integrity of football is protected.
The FA’s Anti-Doping Regulations are consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code (2015 Code), which governs anti-doping internationally.
As well as checking with club staff, players can contact a number of organisations for advice and guidance.
The Football Association (The FA)
Visit The FA website for more information on the FA’s Anti-Doping programme, including information on Testing, Education and Whereabouts. Also available are videos of the drug testing procedures and copies of The FA’s latest educational resources.
Check Medications at GlobalDRO
The Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) provides athletes and support personnel with information about the prohibited status of specific medications based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Products can be searched for by ingredient and/or brand name.
Informed Sport is a risk minimisation programme, which batch tests supplements for substances that are prohibited within sport.
Reduce the risk of testing positive, visit visit: www.informed-sport.com for more information.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
WADA is an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code)
Check the prohibited List details for the substances and methods that are banned in football. As a player you should ensure you know what is included on the list, which can be found at the WADA website.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD)
UKAD is an active participant in the global fight against doping in sport - and is the national body responsible for creating a UK-wide environment of confidence in clean sport. Whether that is in competition, training or spectating. In the UK, UKAD make sure sports bodies comply with the World Anti-Doping Code through implementation and management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy. Visit http://www.ukad.org.uk/about
Find out everything you need to know about drugs, their effects and the law. Talk to Frank for facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol.
Tel: 0300 123 6600
Sporting Chance Clinic
If you feel you have lost the ability to make an informed choice about drug use, pick up the phone and ask for the help that you need. With Sporting Chance you will never be judged and you will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Tel: 0870 2200714