Investigations in carbon isotope ratios of seized testosterone and boldenone preparations

Investigations in carbon isotope ratios of seized testosterone and boldenone preparations / Thomas Piper, Mario Thevis. 

  • June 2021
  • Drug Testing and Analysis
  • PMID: 34192821
  • DOI: 10.1002/dta.3120


    In order to detect the misuse of testosterone (T) or boldenone (Bo) in doping control analysis, the confirmation of atypical findings employing the determination of carbon isotope ratios (CIR) is mandatory for issuing adverse analytical findings. Elevated concentrations of T (or elevated T/epitestosterone ratios) may result from confounding factors such as ethanol intake, and the presence of low urinary concentrations of Bo can originate from endogenous or urinary in situ production of small amounts of the steroid. As pharmaceutical preparations of Bo and T are generally depleted in 13 C, their CIR differ significantly from the 13 C-enriched endogenous steroids. Some rare cases have been reported on pharmaceutical preparations showing 13 C-enriched isotope ratios that complicate the current application of CIR in sports drug testing. Therefore, the CIR of a subset of n = 157 T preparations and n = 39 Bo preparations seized in Switzerland and Germany between 2013 and 2018 was analyzed in order to estimate the possible impact of steroid preparations showing 13 C-enriched isotope ratios on the current approach to detect their misuse. All investigated Bo preparations showed CIR in the expected range between - 26.7 and -30.3‰. Within the T samples, 95% showed the expected values below -26‰ while six samples fall between -25 and -26‰ and one sample was indistinguishable from endogenously produced T with a CIR of -23.3‰.

    Original document


    30 June 2021
    Piper, Thomas
    Thevis, Mario
    Other organisations
    Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (DSHS) - German Sport University Cologne
    European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents (EuMoCEDA)
    Analytical aspects
    Mass spectrometry analysis
    Testing method development
    Doping classes
    S1. Anabolic Agents
    Document category
    Scientific article
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    Pdf file
    Date generated
    31 August 2021
    Date of last modification
    1 September 2021
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