The effect of athletes` hyperhydration on the urinary 'steroid profile' markers in doping control analysis

The effect of athletes' hyperhydration on the urinary 'steroid profile' markers in doping control analysis / I. Athanasiadou, S. Kraiem, S. Al‐Sowaidi, H. Al‐Mohammed, N. Dbes, S. Al‐Yazedi, W. Samsam, V. Mohamed‐Ali, A. Dokoumetzidis, M. Alsayrafi, G. Valsami, C. Georgakopoulos . - (Drug testing and analysis 10 (2018) 9 (September) ; p. 1458-1468).
- PMID: 29745045.
- DOI: 10.1002/dta.2403


The urinary 'steroid profile' in doping control analysis is a powerful tool aimed at detecting intra-individual deviations related to the abuse of endogenous steroids. Factors altering the steroid profile include, among others, the excessive fluid intake leading to low endogenous steroids concentrations compared to an individual's normal values. Cases report the use of hyperhydration by athletes as a masking method during anti-doping urine sample collection. Seven healthy physically active non-smoking Caucasian males were examined for a 72-hour period using water and a commercial sports drink as hyperhydration agents (20 mL/kg body weight). Urine samples were collected and analyzed according to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) technical documents. Although, significant differences were observed on the endogenous steroid concentrations under the studied hyperhydration conditions, specific gravity adjustment based on a reference value of 1.020 can eliminate the dilution induced effect. Adjustment methods based on creatinine and urinary flow rate were also examined; however, specific gravity was the optimum method in terms of effectiveness to adjust concentrations close to the baseline steroid profile and practicability. No significant effect on the urinary steroid ratios was observed with variability values within 30% of the mean for the majority of data. Furthermore, no masking on the detection ability of endogenous steroids was observed due to hyperhydration. It can be concluded that any deviation on the endogenous steroid concentrations due to excessive fluid intake can be compensated by the specific gravity adjustment and therefore, hyperhydration is not effective as a masking method on the detection of the abuse of endogenous steroids.


Research / Study
10 May 2018
Al-Mohammed, H.
Al-Sowaidi, S.
Al-Yazedi, S.
Alsayrafi, M.
Athanasiadou, Ioanna
Dbes, N.
Dokoumetzidis, Aristeidis
Georgakopoulos, Costas G.
Kraiem, S.
Mohamed-Ali, Vidya
Samsam, Waseem
Valsami, Georgia
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Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)
Doha, Qatar: Antidoping Lab Qatar, Doping Analysis Lab
Doping classes
M2. Chemical And Physical Manipulation
S1. Anabolic Agents
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Doping control
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Date generated
21 January 2019
Date of last modification
1 February 2019
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