Consequences of Doping, including Physical and Mental Health, Social and Economic effects and Sanctions

An athlete runs very high risks by consuming doping substances or by using prohibited methods. This may result in very severe health but also sporting, financial, legal and social consequences.

Physical and Mental Health

Physical health: depending on the substance, the dosage and the consumption frequency, doping products may have particularly negative side effects on health. Some damages for the body are irreversible and may lead that the athlete’s life be in great danger.

Psychological health: some doping substances may not be detrimental to the body but exercise an impact on mental health. It has been scientifically evidenced that anxiety, obsessive disorders or psychosis are direct consequences from doping.

Social consequences

The existence of an athlete who was held guilty for doping may be completely disrupted. Indeed, doping may represent a danger for the health, but it may also be prejudicial to the fame, respect and creditworthiness. Even in the future negative findings are regularly questioned by the media and the entourage. The poor image will remain in the collective unconscious and the athlete could remain isolated.

Financial consequences

As regards high-performance sport, an infringement of anti-doping rules often leads to a loss of income, the reimbursement of prize moneys and of the sponsorship money. An athlete suspended for several years, or even life-banned, cannot earn his/her living as usual and can even be forced into debt to live on a day-to-day basis.

Sporting consequences

A doping violation may mean loss of results, rankings, medals and qualification places at events. It could also have an impact on members of a team causing medals to be lost.

Legal consequences

Doping may have major legal consequences. A doped athlete may be suspended, i.e. he/she may not take part in sport competition or in organized training sessions.