Research Seminar Series in Sport Sciences, Malmö University, 9 February, 2015: “The significance of social learning processes for doping use in the elite sport environment” with David Hoff

The venue for this seminar is Orkanen, Nordenskiöldsgatan 10, room E121c, on Monday, February 9, 13:15–15:00.



The significance of social learning processes for doping use in the elite sport environment:
An interview study of AAS-using athletes

Davis Hoff, Lund University

The importance and meaning of social processes in the sport environment for the use of doping in sport has hardly ever been studied or discussed. In doping literature, the use of doping has usually been regarded as an individual problem with individual causes. This may seem peculiar since we know that social influences have a major impact on individual behavior in every day life. This article investigates the meaning of the sport environment for elite athletes’ which have been using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS). It is based on qualitative interviews with 11 elite athletes. The results showed that social processes in sport environment seemed to be of major importance for how the doping use emerged. The informants described a “doping culture“, and their use of doping started in what may be interpreted as a learning process in relation to social expectations and ideals existing in their sport environment. The informants doping use were analyzed with Lave and Wenger’s theories of learning, as a form of situated learned behavior in their sport community through an active participation in the practice of their sport – powerlifting.



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