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Medical News and Perspectives
February 8, 2006

Researchers Address Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Nonelite Athletes

JAMA. 2006;295(6):607-608. doi:10.1001/jama.295.6.607

Behind the pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies and the excitement of the competitions of the Winter Olympics under way in Italy this month, officials are on the lookout for the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by athletes. Even as the use of such drugs has become one of the most prominent scandals in professional sports, the practice has also grown among nonprofessionals, including many adolescents and children.

Researchers and physicians are seeking ways to better understand and address the problem. But they are learning that much work remains before they can fully decipher the motivations of young people who use these substances and reach them in ways that will persuade them to stop.