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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 151-155

The use of performance-enhancing substances (doping) by athletes in Saudi Arabia


Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Al Ghobain
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, P. O. Box 90068, Riyadh 11321
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_122_16

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BACKGROUND: Data on doping violation in Saudi Arabia are scarce. Our aim was to investigate the Saudi experience of anti-doping and review all positive samples and adverse analytical findings (AAFs) of Saudi athletes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study analyzed databases of the Saudi Arabian Anti-Doping Committee from 2008 to May 2016. The samples originated from various sporting events and were collected in and outside sport competitions. The substances investigated were those included in the annual lists of prohibited substances produced by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). All urine samples were tested in laboratories accredited by the WADA. Samples were declared positive if they contained any prohibited substance on the WADA list for that year. RESULTS: In 4482 urine samples tested, 141 positive samples (3.1%) and 195 AAFs of prohibited substances were detected. The prevalence of positive samples was highest in 2012 (6.6%) and lowest in 2015 (1%). The most prevalent prohibited substances detected were anabolic steroids (32.8%) and stimulants (27.6%). The most frequently detected compounds were amphetamines (22%) and tetrahydrocannabinol (12.8%). The highest prevalence of AAFs was in bodybuilders. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of doping in Saudi Arabia seems to be higher than western countries, but this needs to be confirmed with further research.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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