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.




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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2014.93.05