Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 82 - 91

Research article
Examination of Factors Explaining Coaching Strategy and Training Methodology as Correlates of Potential Doping Behavior in High-Level Swimming
Silvester Liposek1,2, Natasa Zenic3, , Jose M Saavedra4, Damir Sekulic3, Jelena Rodek3, Miha Marinsek1, Dorica Sajber2,5
Author Information
1 University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
2 Slovenian Swimming Federation, Ljubljana, Slovenia
3 University of Split, Faculty of Kinesiology, Split, Croatia
4 Reykjavik University, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health Research Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland
5 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Natasa Zenic
✉ University of Split, Faculty of Kinesiology, Teslina 6, Split – 21000, Croatia
Publish Date
Received: 24-10-2017
Accepted: 25-12-2017
Published (online): 01-03-2018
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Although coaching is considered an important determinant of athletes’ potential doping behavior (PDB), there is an evident lack of studies that have examined coaching-strategy-and-training-methodology (CS&TM) in relation to PDB. This study was aimed to identify the specific associations that may exist between CS&TM -factors and other factors, and PDB in high-level swimming. The sample comprised 94 swimmers (35 females; 19.7 ± 2.3 years of age) and consisted of swimmers older than 18 years who participated in the 2017 National Championship. Variables were collected by previously validated questionnaires, with the addition of questions where athletes were asked about CS&TM to which they had been exposed. Multinomial logistic regression was applied for the criterion PDB (Negative PDB – Neutral PDB – Positive PDB). The higher risk for positive-PDB was found in males (OR: 6.58; 95%CI: 1.01-9.12); therefore, all regressions were adjusted for gender. Those swimmers who achieved better competitive result were less prone to neutral-PDB (0.41; 0.17-0.98). The positive-PDB was evidenced in those swimmers who perceived that their training was monotonous and lacked diversity (1.82; 1.41-5.11), and who were involved in training which was mostly oriented toward volume (1.76; 1.11-7.12). The lower likelihood of positive-PDB is found in those who replied that technique is practiced frequently (0.12; 0.01-0.81), those who replied that coach regularly provided the attention to explain the training aims (0.21; 0.04-0.81), and that coach frequently reviewed and discussed the quality of execution of specific tasks (0.41; 0.02-0.81). The findings on the relationships between the studied variables and PDB should be incorporated into targeted anti-doping efforts in swimming. Further studies examining sport-specific variables of CS&TM in younger swimmers and other sports are warranted.

Key words: Performance enhancing substances, swimming, training methodology

           Key Points
  • The opinions about doping presence in swimming were not associated with athletes’ doping susceptibility, but a higher doping tendency is found in male swimmers
  • Swimmers were generally more susceptible to doping if they perceived that their training lacked work on improvement and mastering of the swimming technique
  • Those swimmers who are more prone to doping frequently stated that their coach did not provide the necessary attention to explain the training aims, and did not sufficiently review and discuss the quality of the athlete’s execution of specific tasks
  • Results highlight importance of coaching strategy and training methodology as possible covariates of doping susceptibility in sports.
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