Performance and image-enhancing drugs in the media

Media feature

Performance and image-enhancing drugs appear regularly in the news. Media accounts of PIEDs reproduce a range of ideas and assumptions that help shape our understandings of PIED use, and people who use PIEDs. As can be seen below, press coverage of PIEDs generates a wide range of stories linking PIEDs with sport, organised crime, political corruption, policing and violence. These negative associations have significant political implications for the well-being of people who use PIEDs and the avenues available to them to seek information and advice. For this reason and others, press coverage is a key site in the materialisation of PIEDs and PIED use.

NOTE ON COLLECTION OF ITEMS: News articles were collected in June and July 2018 via two searches using the database Factiva. The following search terms were used: ‘performance and image enhancing’ OR ‘performance and image-enhancing’ OR ‘image and performance enhancing’ OR ‘steroids’ OR ‘doping’. The search covered the last five years, and focused on three key Australian newspapers: The Age, The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald, and yielded 237 articles. Of these, 48 were discarded as not relevant because the term ‘steroid’ was used only as a metaphor in discussing unrelated matters (an interesting media phenomenon in its own right). An additional 15 articles were omitted because they addressed doping horses and the racing industry. The media items below are presented in chronological order starting with the most recent report first.

This list will be updated over time.