Imagining Future Guilt Helps Athletes Turn Away –Study

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Appealing to athletes’ sense of ‘future guilt’ through psychological intervention could prove a powerful weapon in the fight against doping, according to a new study.

Researchers discovered that making elite athletes picture how guilty they might feel about using banned performance-enhancing drugs produced a more powerful initial reaction than initiatives educating sportspeople about the health risks of doping.

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Working with 208 athletes across the UK and Greece, researchers carried out two six-month trials – one a psychological intervention focussing on emotions and personal choice, the other an education programme highlighting the risks and health consequences of doping.

Using real athlete stories and testimonies on video, they made participants aware of emotions experienced by sportspeople who had doped, contrasting those feelings with emotions experienced by successful athletes who competed clean.

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Source: Complete Sports

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