Many Americans believe that drug abuse in sports is rampant and that most athletes are overpaid, according to the results of a $200,000 poll commissioned by Sports Illustrated. In addition, some believe that some sporting event had been fixed in the previous year, the poll showed.
The poll, conducted by Lieberman Research Inc., was based on mailed questionnaires.
Of the 2,043 adults answering, 62% said that football had the most serious drug problem, with baseball second and basketball a distant third. The questionnaires went out in November, soon after the baseball drug trials in Pittsburgh. But the results were gathered before the drug scandal that rocked the New England Patriots after the Super Bowl.
On the subject of random testing, 73% surveyed said that teams should be allowed to conduct random drug tests on players. Only 14% opposed testing.
In money matters, 70% of those polled said that baseball players are overpaid, 63% said basketball players earn too much and 59% said football players are overpaid. Hockey players were the exception, with 36% of those polled saying the players were overpaid and 40% saying they were paid fairly.