The juice isn’t worth the squeeze: British sports fans don’t want a “Steroid Olympics”
February 22nd, 2024, Christien Pheby

The juice isn’t worth the squeeze: British sports fans don’t want a “Steroid Olympics”

Glance at the back pages of a newspaper and you might read about a litany of perceived problems in the world of sport. How to fix the gender gap in high-level tennis? Can future racism scandals be prevented in the world of county cricket? Are VAR, multi-club ownership, and financial fair play violations sucking the life out of modern football? And are there too many steroids in elite-level competitions – or way too few?

The founder of the Enhanced Games, Aron D’Souza, has decided that the best solution to the issue of doping is to, well, simply allow doping. “Athletes are adults”, he says, “and they have a right to do with their body what they wish.” The mooted competition, which would not drug test any of the participants, has earned investment from Peter Thiel, Balaji Srinivasan, and other Silicon Valley luminaries.

But YouGov Self-serve data can reveal that the sports-following public mostly aren’t interested: some 82% say they would not watch competitions where the athletes are allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), and just 14% would.

The degree of opposition varies: tennis fans, for example, are least likely to be intrigued by the idea of PED-permitted athletics (89% aren’t interested; 8% are), while cycling (79% vs. 20%) and combat sports fans (74% vs. 19%) are a bit more enthusiastic. Whatever the sport, though, the fact remains that most fans aren’t interested in a “Steroid Olympics”.

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YouGov polled 2,000 British adults online on 15 February 2024.  The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. The margin of error is 2%  for the overall sample. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.