Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on doping among university students in physical education and sport science related degree programmes

Elijah Gitonga Rintaugu, Francis Mundia Mwangi


Doping cases have in the recent past (second decade of 21st century) tainted the Kenyan athletes’ dominance in long distance running. The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (KAP) on doping among university students pursuing sport related courses. It was postulated that KAP on doping will be mediated by year of study, age, gender, sporting experience and degree programme. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires from university students (n = 179) drawn from four universities that offer sport-related courses in Kenya. Results revealed that there were significant differences between year of study (first vs fourth) in knowledge on performance enhancing substance (PES) (Mean Ranks; 68.16 vs 94.22, p = .013) and perceptions about doping (109.98 vs 86.14, p = .023). Sport Science and Health Promotion students showed significantly higher scores on attitudes towards doping (p = .003) than those in Physical Education courses. There were significant differences (p < .05) in KAP on doping in favour of those students who had previous participation in sport competitions. It is concluded that KAP of university students on doping is differentiated based on the selected variables of year and programme of study, and previous participation in sport competitions. It is recommended that the unpacking of doping education should take these variables into consideration. Universities need to partner with anti-doping agencies to expose students to both theoretical and practical applications of doping knowledge. Further investigation in needed on the possible factors that contribute to less negative perceptions with higher knowledge on doping among university students.


Performance enhancing substance; Sports related courses; Student athletes


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