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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 Jul;75(1):134-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2011.03992.x.

A pilot study on subject-based comprehensive steroid profiling: novel biomarkers to detect testosterone misuse in sports.

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  • 1Docolab, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ghent, Zwijnaarde, BelgiumSwiss Laboratory for Doping Analysis, Université de Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Until now, the testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio is the main marker for the detection of testosterone (T) misuse in athletes. As this marker can be influenced by a number of confounding factors, additional steroid profile parameters indicating T misuse can provide substantiating evidence of doping with endogenous steroids. The evaluation of a steroid profile is currently based upon population statistics. As large inter-individual variations exist, a paradigm shift towards subject-based references is ongoing in doping analysis.

OBJECTIVE:

Proposition of new biomarkers for the detection of testosterone in sports using extensive steroid profiling and an adaptive model based upon Bayesian inference.

SUBJECTS:

Six healthy male volunteers were administered with testosterone undecanoate. Population statistics were performed upon steroid profiles from 2014 male Caucasian athletes participating in official sport competition.

DESIGN:

An extended search for new biomarkers in a comprehensive steroid profile combined with Bayesian inference techniques as used in the athlete biological passport resulted in a selection of additional biomarkers that may improve detection of testosterone misuse in sports.

RESULTS:

Apart from T/E, 4 other steroid ratios (6α-OH-androstenedione/16α-OH-dehydroepiandrostenedione, 4-OH-androstenedione/16α-OH-androstenedione, 7α-OH-testosterone/7β-OH-dehydro-epiandrostenedione and dihydrotestosterone/5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol) were identified as sensitive urinary biomarkers for T misuse. These new biomarkers were rated according to relative response, parameter stability, detection time and discriminative power.

CONCLUSION:

Newly selected biomarkers were found suitable for individual referencing within the concept of the Athlete's Biological Passport. The parameters showed improved detection time and discriminative power compared to the T/E ratio. Such biomarkers can support the evidence of doping with small oral doses of testosterone.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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