Recent developments in drug abuse and doping control in sport

J R Coll Surg Edinb. 1990 Dec;35(6 Suppl):S2-6.


Since September 1988 when Ben Johnson was tested positive for a banned substance at the Seoul Olympic Games, many national and international initiatives have been taken to improve the control of doping in sport. This paper summarizes the revised provisions of the International Olympic Committee list of doping classes and methods. Recent events are also reviewed, including the investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Australian sportsmen and women (the Black Enquiry), by the Canadians (the Dubin Enquiry) and by the British (the Coni Enquiry and the Jacobs Enquiry). Recent political initiatives are considered, in particular the major international agreements such as the Soviet-American Joint Commission, the International Olympic Antidoping Charter and the European Anti-Doping Convention. Sportsmen and women who, in the past, have been tested positive for banned substances have been the focus of much attention from the sporting community, the general public and the media, but others including coaches, physicians, scientists and others, must share the blame for the spread of drug abuse in sport. In the UK the new policies and programmes of the Sports Council (and the Sports Councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) should provide a better programme for doping control than that previously used, and the new international agreements should provide a better framework for international cooperation on education, detection and research.

MeSH terms

  • Doping in Sports / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Sports / trends*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Substance Abuse Detection / standards*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • United Kingdom