Most Americans believe the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs is a problem for professional sports — and nearly half in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll see it as a major problem.
They also see it as widespread. When asked how many athletes in a number of sports use performance enhancing drugs, between a quarter and half the public say at least half the athletes in each sport do. Americans see professional football and baseball as the greatest offenders; 51% think at least half of professional football players are users and 43% say half of professional baseball players are.
If you had to guess, what proportion of professional athletes in the following sports would you say use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs?
|A majority||About half||A minority||Almost none||Not sure|
Track and Field
Although just over a third of the public thinks half of professional cyclists use performance enhancing drugs (40% think a minority or almost no riders do), there is a different opinion when it comes to the most famous American cyclist, Lance Armstrong. Although just 3% of the public say they follow professional cycling, more than three-quarters have heard about allegations, broadcast on 60 Minutes, that Armstrong used performance enhancing procedures before and during his winning Tour de France events. Armstrong has denied those allegations, made by several former teammates.
By just over two to one, Americans who have heard about the allegations believe they are true. 48% think he has used performance enhancing drugs, 22% do not.
Photo source: Press Association