Enhanced UHPLC-MS/MS screening of selective androgen receptor modulators following urine hydrolysis

Enhanced UHPLC-MS/MS screening of selective androgen receptor modulators following urine hydrolysis / Anna Gadaj, Emiliano Ventura, Jim Healy, Francesco Botrè, Saskia S. Sterk, Tom Buckley, Mark H. Mooney. - (MethodsX 7 (2020) 100926 (21 May); p. 1-12)

  • PMID: 32547930
  • PMCID:
  • PMC7286957
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2020.100926 


Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) represent non-steroidal agents commonly abused in human and animal (i.e. equine, canine) sports, with potential for further misuse as growth promoting agents in livestock-based farming. As a direct response to the real and possible implications of illicit application in both sport as well as food production systems, this study incorporated enzymatic hydrolysis (β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase) into a previously established protocol while maintaining the minimal volume (200 µL) of urine sample required to detect SARMs encompassing various pharmacophores in urine from a range of species (i.e. equine, bovine, human, canine and rodent). The newly presented semi-quantitative UHPLC-MS/MS-based assay is shown to be fit-for-purpose, being rapid and offering high-throughput, with validation findings fulfilling criteria stipulated within relevant doping and food control legislation.•CCβ values determined at 1 ng mL-1 for majority of analytes.•Deconjugation step included in the method led to significantly increased relative abundance of ostarine in analysed incurred urine samples demonstrating the requirement for hydrolysis to detect a total form of emerging SARMs.•Assay amenable for use within routine testing to ensure fair play in animal and human sports and that animal-derived food is free from contamination with SARM residues.

Original document


Research / Study
21 May 2020
Botrè, Francesco
Buckley, Tom
Gadaj, Anna
Healy, Jim
Mooney, Mark H.
Sterk, Saskia S.
Ventura, Emiliano
Other organisations
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Limerick Institute of Technology (LIM)
Queen's University Belfast (QUB)
Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
Roma, Italia: Laboratorio Antidoping FMSI
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Testing method development
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs)
Food and/or drinks
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Scientific article
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Date generated
23 September 2020
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