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Epidemiological analysis of doping offences in the professional tennis circuit

Author(s): Maquirriain Javier

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Introduction Tennis is a professional sport under a strict anti-doping control. However, since the first violation of the code, the positive cases have not been statistically studied. The objective of this study was to analyze doping offences in the international professional tennis circuit. Methods All offences to the Doping Code committed by tennis players during 2003-2009 were collected from the ITF official webpage, registered and analyzed. Results An average of 1905.7 (±174.5) samples was obtained per year. Fifty-two doping offences were reported and the overall incidence of positive doping samples accounted for 0.38% and 7.4 (±4.1) cases/year. Male players showed higher incidence doping offences than females (p = 0.0004). The incidence in wheelchair players was higher than in non-handicapped subjects (p = 0.0001) Banned substance distribution showed: stimulants 32.69%, cannabis 23.07%; anabolic 11.53%, diuretics and masking agents 11.53, β2-agonists 9.61%; corticosteroids 3.84%, others 3.84%. The overall incidence of 'social drugs' (cocaine, cannabis) was 36.53%. All EPO and blood samples were normal, while the incidence of 'out-of-competition' offences was 0.12%. The lower incidence of doping was found in Grand Slams tournaments. Conclusions The incidence of positive doping samples among professional tennis players is quite low supporting the assumption that there is no evidence of systematic doping in Tennis. "Social drugs" misuse constitutes the main problem of doping in tennis. Male and wheelchair tennis players showed higher risk of infringing the doping code than their females and non-handicapped counterparts. Findings of this study should help to determine the direction of the ongoing strategy in the fight against doping in Tennis.

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