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Title: An investigation into the factors that encourage Image and Performance Enhancing Drug taking behaviours in adult rugby players in England
Authors: Watkins, Stephen
Advisors: Griginov, V
Rhind, D
Keywords: Anti-doping;Rugby Union;moral disengagement;gateway theory;push
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Over the last few decades, the use of Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs) has, according to numerous media articles, become more widespread in UK society and not just in Sport. This societal problem has been reflected across sport but in particular Rugby Union has seen a marked increase of IPED users. The use of IPEDs in Rugby Union has become a growing cause for concern for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as a high number of players from England regularly appear on UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) banned list . There is limited doping research in adult Rugby Union from the male or female game relating to doping behaviours particularly with players who have tested positive for IPEDs. A reason for the paucity of research on this topic may be the difficulty in gaining access to players who commit violations as well as their reluctance to speak openly about their behaviour. This study’s objectives were to examine the factors, which encourage IPED use in English Rugby Union. By means of Operational Definitions, a lens was created to examine the phenomenon using a mixture of interviews and published anti-doping judgments. Four Rugby Union players who had previously committed Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) under the jurisdiction of the RFU were interviewed and this information was triangulated with the 66 published case files from the anti-doping judgments between the years 2001-2018. Issues such as coaching environment, injury, ease of access to drugs, physical nature of the game were all scrutinised for links to IPED use. The results showed a wide range of drivers behind IPED use amongst players, but common themes of injury, normalisation of drug use as well as body image were identified. Forwards were more likely to be IPED users and being isolated from your team mates by injury was identified as a high risk period for IPED use. Players also did not believe the current level of testing represented a big enough deterrent to IPED use. The final aim of the project was to make recommendations to the RFU for initiatives that could address this critical subject. These recommendations include better nutritional and injury support for players as well as structural changes to the sanctioning regimes.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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