Long term effects of doping in sporting records: 1886-2012

Aaron Hermann, Maciej Henneberg


Best life times of top athletes, Olympic records, world records, and any doping information were collected from the IOC, IAAF, WADA and national anti-doping associations. About 1560 records of male and female athletes in 22 disciplines of summer and 4 winter sports were collected. Data were analysed for long-term effects of doping using non-linear regression techniques. Comparisons were made of pre-1932 records (when steroids became available) and post. Analyses were repeated using 1967, when widespread use of doping was formally acknowledged. After these dates records in a number of disciplines did not improve as predicted by extrapolation of pre-doping years results. Averaged best life records for ‘doped’ top athletes did not differ significantly from those considered ‘non-doped’. Even assuming that not all cases of doping were discovered, the practice did not alter sporting records as commonly believed, Doping may be damaging image of sports without benefitting results.


Drugs; performance enhancing substances; Top athletes; track and field; Winter sports

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2014.93.05


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