1Department of Sport Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2Department of . Social Sciences Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: The end of the career of professional athletes is one of the most difficult and upsetting events. Athletes should adapt to difficult experiences and heighten a sense of worth. Drug abuse as negative coping behavior is a painful reaction to retirement. The aim of the present study was to identify the factors influencing the tendency of retired elite wrestlers to drug abuse. In this study, with a biomedical approach, this phenomenon was investigated.
Methods: Using the method of contextual theory and semi-structured in-depth qualitative interview technique, factors influencing the tendency of retired elite wrestlers to drug abuse were studied. The data analysis method was coding, done in three stages of open, selective, and axial coding. The data of the interviews were shown in a paradigm model.
Results: Various factors were obtained based on the participants' statements. Factors such as sexual needs, strenuous exercise, and injury were taken as causal conditions; the factor of physical pain is taken as a mediating condition. Factors such as retirement age and first experience of drug use were considered as an intervening condition and factors such as physiological need and doping were examined as contextual conditions. These factors created a paradigm model.
Conclusion: Athletes' strategies for drug abuse are respectively as follows: leisure purposes, the wider variety of drugs, continuity of drug use over their life course, and finally compulsive drug use. The consequences of drug abuse were initially pleasant and positive for them, but continued drug use, had harmful consequences physically, psychologically, and socially.