What to do if you're offered drugs

When you’re training hard and trying to improve your performance, but not getting the results you want, it can be tempting to look for easy fixes.

At some point in your career, you might encounter someone – a teammate, a personal trainer, a sporting mentor, a medical professional or a coach – who offers you something to help improve your performance.

This could be:

  • a performance enhancing drug, like steroids, beta-blockers, EPO etc
  • a supplement which may contain steroids or methylhexaneamine or other banned substances
  • a method to improve performance e.g. blood transfusion.

If you find yourself in this circumstance, remember:

  • it’s your body, your health and your sporting career - you get to make decisions about what you consume
  • banned substances can result in serious side-effects and you could be compromising your future health
  • you won’t have the same pride in your sporting results if you cheat by taking a performance enhancing drug
  • if you test positive for a banned substance, it could spell the end of your sporting career.

If you’re offered something to improve your performance by someone you trust, admire and respect it can be a very difficult situation to deal with.

It takes courage to say no. And it takes particular courage to say no to someone more experienced than you or to someone you consider a mentor.

Here’s our advice on saying no to doping:

  • tell the person that’s not the way you want to train or play
  • say no and let the person know that your sporting career is important to you and you’re putting it at risk by taking whatever they’re offering
  • if you can’t say no straight away, leave and seek the advice and support of someone you trust: a parent, coach or senior member of your team
  • ask a person you trust, a parent, coach, friend, team mate, to talk to the person who has made the offer and get them to make it clear that you want no part of banned substances
  • contact Drug Free Sport NZ (0800 DRUGFREE) anonymously and let us know that you’ve been offered a banned substance.

For some more advice on how to compete clean, check out this video message to New Zealand athletes from reformed doper and one-time Tour de France cyclist, Tyler Hamilton.