Inter-individual Variation of the Urinary Steroid Profiles in Swedish and Norwegian Athletes

Inter-individual Variation of the Urinary Steroid Profiles in Swedish and Norwegian Athletes / Jenny Mullen, Lasse Vestli Baekken, Timo Törmäkangas, Lena Ekström, Magnus Ericsson, Ingunn R. Hullstein, Jenny J. Schulze. - (Drug Testing and Analysis (2020) 12 February; p. 1-18).
- PMID: 32052600.
- DOI: 10.1002/dta.2778


The steroidal module of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) aims to detect doping with endogenous steroids, e.g. testosterone (T), by longitudinally monitoring several biomarkers. These biomarkers are ratios combined into urinary concentrations of testosterone and metabolically related steroids. However, it is evident after 5 years of monitoring steroid passports that there are large variations in the steroid ratios complicating its interpretation. In this study, we used over 11000 urinary steroid profiles from Swedish and Norwegian athletes to determine both the inter- and intra-individual variations of all steroids and ratios in the steroidal passport. Furthermore, we investigated if the inter-individual variations could be associated with factors such as gender, type of sport, age, time of day, time of year, and if the urine was collected in or out of competition. We show that there are factors reported in today's doping tests that significantly affect the steroid profiles. The factors with the largest influence on the steroid profile were the type of sport classification that the athlete belonged to as well as whether the urine was collected in or out of competition. There were also significant differences based on what time of day and time of year the urine sample was collected. Whether these significant changes are relevant when longitudinally monitoring athletes in the steroidal module of the ABP should be evaluated further.

Original document


Research / Study
12 February 2020
Ekström, Lena
Ericsson, Magnus
Hullstein, Ingunn R.
Mullen, Jenny
Schulze, Jenny Jakobsson
Törmäkangas, Timo
Vestli Baekken, Lasse
Adverse Analytical Finding / presence
Other organisations
Antidoping Norge (ADNO) - Anti-Doping Norway
Jyväskylän yliopisto - University of Jyväskylä
Riksidrottsförbundet (RF) - Swedish Sports Confederation
Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Doping Control Laboratory
Paris, France: Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD)
Stockholm, Sweden: Doping Control Laboratory
Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
26 February 2020
Date of last modification
27 February 2020
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