In the past five years, triathlon has been identified in the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) annual doping summary as being among the top five sports returning ‘adverse analytical findings’ or positive doping results. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the sources of knowledge regarding doping practices and anti-doping efforts in Canadian and American professional female triathletes. The secondary purpose of this study was to develop suggestions that may enhance the efficacy of anti-doping education programmes and ultimately the larger global anti-doping movement. The first phase of this WADA-sponsored Social Science initiative project consisted of two six-member focus groups that included younger pro-triathletes at the beginning of their international career from both the USA and Canada. Six Canadian and six US female triathletes participated in separate focus group sessions lasting approximately 1.5 hours in addition to individual semi-structured follow-up interviews. Analysis of the data yielded four interconnected thematic categories, including: (1) meanings of doping to participants; (2) general knowledge of doping and anti-doping practices; (3) suggestions for anti-doping education; and (4) contrasts between American and Canada assessment of anti-doping issues.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jay_johnson/14/