NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans rank the use of performance-enhancing drugs as the most serious problem facing sports today, according to a poll released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Tuesday.
The study showed 75 percent of about 9,000 surveyed agreed that doping by athletes was a violation of ethics in sports, the poll said.
“This research reinforces that Americans care about the integrity of sport and what it means in our society,” USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said in a statement.
USADA commissioned the poll to better understand what Americans believe about the role and significance of sport in society.
The focus on money and the criminal behavior of well-known athletes ranked behind performance-enhancing drugs as top problems for sports, the study said.
The study also showed 41 percent of children believe if a well-known athlete breaks the rules it makes children think it is acceptable to break the rules to win.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue