A growing body of evidence suggests sport supplement use is positively related to doping likelihood, both directly and indirectly via beliefs that sport supplements are effective for improving performance. However, it is unclear what leads an athlete to use sport supplements and whether such factors play a role in the supplement-beliefs-doping relationship. To address this issue, we examined whether motivational goal orientations were related to doping likelihood directly and indirectly via sport supplement use and sport supplement beliefs. Competitive athletes (N = 362, 39% female, mean ± SD; age = 23.6 ± 10.3 years, hours per week training = 5.8 ± 2.1, years competing = 5.8 ± 5.4) from a range of sports (e.g. athletics, soccer, weightlifting) completed an online survey measuring task and ego goal orientation, sport supplement use, sport supplement beliefs, and doping likelihood. Results indicated that ego orientation, but not task orientation, was indirectly related to doping likelihood via sport supplement use and sport supplement beliefs. This suggests that athletes who are ego oriented are more likely to use supplements, believe supplements are effective, and dope. These data suggest that researchers should consider ego goal orientations when interpreting relationships between sport supplement use and doping likelihood.
- quantitative study