The aim of this study was to determine the rate of doping and performance enhancing drug use in athletes in Sivas, Turkey, and to analyze the main reasons for the use. This was a cross-sectional study based on a self-report questionnaire. The subjects filled the questionnaires under the supervision of the investigators during interviews. This questionnaire included 24 items describing the population in terms of demographics, sport practice, doping in sport and substance use. Moreover, we assessed the frequency of doping drug use. The number of respondents was 883, of which 433 athletes and 450 healthy non-athletes (control group). The mean age of the total volunteers was 21.8 +/- 3.7 yrs. The male and female ratios were 78.2% and 21.8% respectively. Doping and performance enhancing drug usage rate was 8.0% (71 cases in 883 subjects). Doping drug use among the athletes was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (14.5%) compared with the non-athletes (1.8%). The agents used were anabolic steroids in 60.5%, l-carnitene in 12.7%, erythropoietin in 5.4%, Na-bicarbonate in 11.3% and creatinine in 14.1% of 71 cases. The reasons for doping use were to have a better body condition in 34 cases (47.9%) and to solve weight (gaining or loosing) problems in 8 (11.3%) cases. Since the potential side effects of doping drugs are not satisfactorily familiar to the most users, the education of athletes on the matter must be a top priority.