Americans Say One-Third of Professional Athletes on Performance Enhancing Drugs

News Story:
  • To Congress: “Stop wasting tax dollars on investigations”
  • Three-fifths want high school athletes tested too
  • Three-fifths favor stripping stats and awards from guilty pro athletes

Fairfield, Conn. – As this year’s Major League Baseball season-opener approaches, a new national poll indicates that Americans are keeping a close eye on steroid use among professional athletes.

On average, Americans polled said that they believed 34.33% of all professional sports players nationwide were using performance enhancement drugs, according to the national poll by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute.

Three-fifths of Americans, 60.4%, reported they were following the issue of performance enhancement drugs in sports very or somewhat closely.

Still, 69.4% agreed that Congress was wasting time and taxpayer dollars investigating performance enhancement drugs in baseball and other sports.

“We found surprisingly high numbers of Americans agreeing that testing for performance enhancing drugs should occur for professional, college and even high school athletes – 68.0%, 68.1% and 59.9% respectively,” according to Jerry C. Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute.

Lindsley added, “After all the hearings and all the news about steroids in baseball, we still found that 67.6% see most professional athletes as strong role models for America’s youth.”

In other survey results, 60.1% believed professional athletes guilty of performance enhancement drug use, should be stripped of awards and statistics during times of use.

Over half of Americans surveyed, 51.8%, believed sports betting be illegal while 29.1% believed sports betting should be legalized nationwide.

According to Beau Greer, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Human Movement and Sports Science department at SHU, “The use of performance enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, may result in vast cardiovascular, hormonal and metabolic disorders. Although a slight majority of Americans think testing high school athletes is appropriate, it will not be financially feasible on a large scale in the near future. Additionally, accurate tests for performance enhancing drugs are often years behind when the illegal use begins, making it difficult to detect which athletes are cheating.”

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EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT

  • Jerry Lindsley, director, Sacred Heart University Polling Institute
  • Beau Greer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Human Movement and Sports Science department at SHU.

To speak with these experts, please contact Funda Alp at 203-396-8241 or alpf@sacredheart.edu.

How the Poll Was Conducted
The Sacred Heart University Polling Institute completed 800 interviews with residents nationwide between March 3-15, 2008. The sample was generated proportional to population contribution in all 50 states. Statistically, a sample of 800 completed telephone interviews represents a margin for error of +/-3.5% at a 95% confidence level.