Sheffield Hallam University is launching a new scheme to target doping in sport - after research showed children as young as 12 had admitted using performance enhancing drugs.
European-wide research by universities identified a number of children who had reported use of performance enhancing substances like anabolic steroids.
The SAFE YOU project also showed at least one in 10 young adult recreational exercisers had used anabolic steroids.
In response, Sheffield Hallam University has teamed up with Kingston University in London and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece to deliver the SAFE YOU+: Strengthening the anti-doping fight in fitness and exercise in youth scheme.
It will target young exercisers aged between 16 and 25 with an educational tool to help them resist doping use.
The tool will aim to give information about the myths and realities of doping use.
The tool is an online educational resource that was jointly developed by expert scientists, young exercisers in the UK and four other European countries.
Dr Lambros Lazuras, senior lecturer in psychology at Sheffield Hallam University and co-investigator for SAFE YOU+, said: “Doping in sports has received global attention in recent years due to some very high-profile cases.
“Doping in exercise settings and amateur sports has arguably become more important than in elite sports.
“Average gym goers and amateur athletes are putting themselves at risk through lack of knowledge, reduced accountability, and the inability to regulate intake of what could be potentially very dangerous substances.”
The tool can be accessed at http://safeyou.eu/ Visitors do not require any subscription fees.