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  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 9, no. 4)

Clinical Psychology and Special Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-0394


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2012

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal


The Phenomenon of Anti-Doping Policy Legitimacy in the Social Psychology of Sports 58


Bondarev D.V.
PhD in Physical Education and Sports, Assistant Professor, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Jyväskylä, Finland

Bochaver K.A.
PhD in Psychology, Head of the Psychology of Health and Living Environment Department, Institute of Interdisciplinary Medicine, Moscow, Russia

Barkoukis V.
PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Anti-doping represents a global system where an athlete is in the center of a control and regulations. The perception of legitimacy is important for compliance with rules and regulation within the anti-doping system. However, the concept of legitimacy in anti-doping is not sufficiently defined, which makes it difficult to develop psychodiagnostic tools for its assessment within the framework of relevant psychological theories. The aim of this study is to review psychological literature on legitimacy perception and identify a framework within which legitimacy can be studied in anti-doping area. Reviewed data were structured by three categories of legitimacy: “proper”, “just” and “appropriate” and a respective matrix for a focus group interview had been developed. Four focus-group interviews had been conducted among Russian competitive athletes (N=22). The focus-group interviews revealed three main themes: trust to anti-doping organizations, equal and transparent anti-doping rules and possibility for athletes to influence anti-doping policy. Legitimacy of anti-doping is an important psychological construct that may be operationalized through the perception that anti-doping is functioning proper, just and appropriate. In addition, athletes voiced their concerns on the transparent and equal implementation of the anti-doping rules and possibility to influence anti-doping policy.

Keywords: legitimacy, perception, anti-doping policy, sport psychology, focus group

Column: Empirical research


For Reference


The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project no. 19-113-50267

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