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Doping is now a public health issue, conference told

Published on Sep 22, 2012 10:19 PM

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - The use of performance-enhancing drugs is now a public health matter rather than simply a sporting problem, delegates said at a top anti-doping conference.

"If we believe that around three per cent of high school boys in the United States (US) are taking a steroid or growth hormone, then that's a public health issue," said Dr Timothy Armstrong of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"Substance abuse in any shape or form has a physical and mental health aspect to it. The WHO, being the lead United Nations (UN) agency on health matters, takes this issue quite seriously."

Dr Armstrong was speaking at the conference organised by the Arne Ljungqvist Foundation, named after the Swedish anti-doping official who is also chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical commission.

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