For Olympic athletes looking to boost their athletic prowess, the wide world of doping drugs provides ample opportunities.
Very competitive athletes are vulnerable to the idea that drugs may help them gain a “secret edge,” said Tom Hildebrandt, a psychologist and the director of the Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drug Program at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
There’s also a belief that “everyone’s doing it,” whether they are or aren’t, Hildebrandt said. This makes doping seem normal, he added.
Indeed, doping violations have been found in every sporting class in the Olympics, said Rhonda Orr, a senior lecturer in exercise and sport science at the University of Sydney in Australia. (A sporting “class” is a broad category that includes several disciplines. For example, the cycling class includes road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking and BMX.)
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