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Drug Test Anal. 2009 Nov;1(11-12):511-7. doi: 10.1002/dta.71.

Screening for testosterone abuse in male athletes using the measurement of urinary LH, a revision of the paradigm.

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Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory, National Measurement Institute, 1 Suakin Street, Pymble, NSW 2073, Australia.


The primary screening method for the detection of doping by athletes using synthetic versions of endogenous steroids such as testosterone relies on measurement of the ratio of testosterone (T) to epitestosterone (E) in urine. In 2005 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lowered the T/E value at which samples undergo further investigation from six to four. This has resulted in a large increase in the number of athletes with naturally elevated T/E ratios undergoing investigation without a corresponding increase in the number of proven doping offences involving testosterone.Our objective was to develop a new simple screening protocol that can, with high probability, not only distinguish athletes whose natural T/E values exceed four from those whose T/E values have been elevated by testosterone doping but also detect those athletes with naturally low T/E values that do not exceed four despite being administered testosterone.Testosterone (250 mg Sustanon) was administered weekly to a group of 47 young adult males for five weeks in a double-blind placebo controlled study and urine samples collected. The samples were analysed for steroid concentrations using GC/MS and for luteinizing hormone (LH) by immunoassay.The elevation of T/E that occurred in all subjects was accompanied by a significant reduction in urinary LH concentrations to levels that are rare in normal subjects.The appropriate measurement of urinary LH, with the measurement of T/E values, can markedly improve the efficiency of detection of doping with testosterone by male athletes, particularly those who have low natural T/E ratios.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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