Are Athletes Doped? Some Theoretical Arguments and Empirical Evidence
12 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2007
Sports fans all over the world have recently witnessed an increasing number of spectacular doping cases, leading to considerable annoyance in the public. However, our knowledge regarding the prevalence of doping is still quite limited, leading some people to speculate that (nearly) all professional athletes are doped and possibly even have to be doped to be good enough to compete successfully in highly selective tournaments. On the other hand, particularly representatives of the sports associations pretend that since the number of positively tested athletes remains small, there are only a few "black sheep", while in general, the world of sport is clean and fair. In the recent past, a number of theoretical models have been developed that can be empirically tested, which, in the end, may lead to the formulation of policy recommendations (ranging from higher sanctions to legalizing doping). We review the more important models and present anecdotal as well as some quantitative empirical evidence on the prevalence as well as the determinants of doping.
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