Drug use at every level of sport is “fast becoming a crisis” according to UK Anti-Doping – responding to a BBC poll into doping in amateur sport.
It found more than a third (35%) of amateur sports people say they personally know someone who has doped, and 8% said they had taken steroids.
Half believe performance enhancing substance use is “widespread” among those who play sport competitively.
Ukad chief Nicole Sapstead described the figures as “incredibly alarming”.
A BBC State of Sport investigation into doping in UK amateur sport also found that 49% thought performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) were “easily available” among people who play sports regularly.
What do the statistics say?
According to figures from UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), the national body responsible for protecting clean sport, there are currently 52 athletes and coaches serving bans.
Of these, only 12% are professional sports men or women; 62% are amateurs, 21% are semi-professional, and 5% are coaches.
Of the 186 sanctions handed out across 22 separate sports by Ukad since it formed in 2009, 46% have been rugby union or league players – mainly at amateur and semi-professional levels.