Life after doping—A cross-country analysis of organisational support for sanctioned athletes

Hee Jung Hong*, April Henning, Paul Dimeo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This article investigates the available support services/interventions offered by sporting organisations worldwide for athletes facing career transitions resulting from suspensions due to violating anti-doping policy. The authors aim to provide an overview of existing support systems and raise an awareness of the need of customised and structured support for sanctioned athletes as part of duty of care in sport.

Method: Web-based data was initially collected. Following this we contacted each sport organisation by email with a request to answer prepared research questions. Fifty sport organisations were contacted, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The data from 22 sport organisations representing five continents are presented.

Results: The data are presented under five main themes: Termination of support, Psychological support, Financial support, Informative support, and Development in progress. The central finding is that none of the sporting organisations in this study has established a structured support programme or system for supporting doping sanctioned athletes to date.

Conclusion: In most cases sanctioned athletes are simply cut off from all organisational support and left to cope on their own when they are likely to be vulnerable. We argue there is a need for better awareness and support programmes of the challenges faced by athletes following a competition ban or other forced exit from sport due to an anti-doping violation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100161
JournalPerformance Enhancement and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Doping
  • Organisational support
  • Sport career transitions
  • Stigma
  • Transition support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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