Use and attitudes toward dietary supplements and drugs amongst Italian elite athletes and its correlation with banned doping substances


  • Filomena Mazzeo University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy
  • Stefania Santamaria University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy
  • Angelo Donisi Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Italy
  • Pietro Montesano University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy



Nutrition supplements, Drugs, Sport, Health, Athletes


Athletes frequently use dietary supplements (DS) to find better results as soon as possible. Moreover, they also will be occurring in “polypharmacy” or in substances prohibited for doping. The aim of this retrospective sectional study was to explore use and attitudes toward drugs and dietary supplements (DS) in Italian Sports Federations and its correlation with banned doping substances token amongst elite athletes. The data shows the results from 2012 to 2017, among Italian Sports Federations elite athletes and the analysis of the anti-doping controls from the Ministry of Health annual reports. The results show that the largest number of supplements consumption declarations was recorded in 2014 in sport as cycling and athletics. Moreover, in the same year and in 2012 there were 48 and 42 declarations on 58 and 52 doped athletes. Among the Italian federations, three are particularly controlled: FCI - cycling, FIDAL - athletics and FIGC – football. Most of the consumers subjects are male athletes. So maybe there is a link between NS and positive results in anti-doping test. The consumption of health products is constantly expanding and educational interventions will be needed to improve drugs and DS use about elite athletes as well in amateur athletes.


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How to Cite

Mazzeo, F., Santamaria, S., Donisi, A., & Montesano, P. (2019). Use and attitudes toward dietary supplements and drugs amongst Italian elite athletes and its correlation with banned doping substances. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14(4proc), S970-S980.

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