Evaluation of Knowledge and Attitudes on Doping By Football Athletes, Coaches and Sponsors in Malawi
Kaoche, John Mpondova Chilima
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Knowledge and attitude on the use of performance enhancing substances among athletes are important aspects in the fight against doping in sports . This study determined kno wledge and attitudes of football athletes, coaches and sponsors on doping in Malawi. It established reported prevalence of the use of performance enhancing substances among football athletes, assessed knowledge of football athletes, coaches and sponsors and examined their attitu des respectively. It respectively determined whether there was an association between selected demographic factors of football athletes, coaches and sponsors and their knowledge and attitudes on the use of performance enhancing substances in football in M alawi . The study targeted 450 footba ll athletes, 45 coaches, 15 team sponsors and 8 competition sponsors in Malaw i. Football clubs for athletes and coaches were randomly sampled in the citie s of Blantyre and Lilongwe. 240 athletes and 24 coaches attached to the sampled football clubs participated in the study. Sponsors (15) o f football were purpos ive ly sampled from the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. Using the cross section survey design, the selected athletes, coaches and sponsors responded to self re ported structured questionnaires. The obtained data was analysed using Pearson Chi Square, One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Post Hoc Tukeys’ HSD in the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS 20). The study found that participants had hig h (73.4%) m edium (20.8%) and low (5.8%) levels of knowledge on the use of performance enhancing substances. Athletes, coaches and s ponsors had negative attitude towards doping. Association existed between knowledge and age of athletes ; athletes p <0 001), coaches p 0.006) and sponsors ( p 0 .012); experience of athletes p <0.001) and sponsors ( p 0.012) on doping. Association further existed between the attitude and age of athletes ; athletes p 0.001); education of at hletes (p 0.001) and sponsors ( p 0.025) on dopi ng and experience of the athletes ( p <0 .001) and sponsors p <0.001) towards doping. T here were significant differences in knowledge on doping drugs between athletes (20.76 3.35) and coaches (18.54 7.56) and between athletes (20.76 3.35) and sponsors (21.40 6.95) p 0 01. There were significant differences in attitude between coaches (14.58 1.13) and sponsors (12.13 3.50), p . 003. The significant differences in knowledge existed between athletes and coaches (2.22; p 0.011) and coaches and sponsors (2.86; p 0.042). Further significant differences in attitudes on doping existed between footbal l coaches and sponsors (3.47; p 0.003). It is recommended that Malawi Government should formulate deliberate policy that will be used to fight ag ainst doping in football in Malawi. Athletes, coaches and sponsors need to be engaged in awareness programmes on doping for them to acquire more knowledge. Malawi Anti Doping Organisation needs to design a website where athletes can obtain information on doping. Further studies are required on doping in junior football with emphasis on gender and its socioeconomic impact in Malawi.