Dr Paul Dimeo, senior lecturer in sports policy at Stirling University, led the study to investigate if the team sport environment provided protection from the risk of doping compared with athletes who pursued individual sports.
The research is published just weeks after Scottish rugby player Sam Chalmers was served with a two-year ban after admitting taking steroids, sparking claims banned substance use is rife in the amateur game.
The study, commissioned by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), compared the responses of 200 Scottish athletes competing in team, individual and hybrid sports.
Dr Dimeo said: "It emerged that the team environment and the sense of belonging to a 'team' of some description protects athletes as they fear both the shame of being caught and banned as well as the likely social marginalisation that would follow.
"We also found that there was a perceived distinction between individual and team sports with regard to the pressures influencing athletes to dope, particularly in terms of the influence or otherwise of a coach."
The researchers are also calling for more awareness of doping in Scottish sport after they found few athletes were aware of contamination and banned substances.
Dr Dimeo said there was a risk of athletes inadvertently taking performance- enhancing drugs because of a lack of knowledge and education into the area in Scotland.
He said: "What we found from carrying out research is that many athletes are unaware of what they are taking into their bodies.
"A lot of people think that steroids equal muscles and that's the only banned substance, but there are several different ways to violate the WADA code.
"For example, medicine used for asthma can sometimes be a problem."
The team provided a number of recommendations to WADA, including to clarify terminology on current doping legislation.
WADA President John Fahey said: "This study has been very insightful in offering explanations as to why athletes chose different paths."
Dr Dimeo's research is the focus of a BBC Radio 4 Four Thought programme today at 8.45pm.