Testosterone to Epitestosterone Ratios: Cheater or not?

The Floyd Landis announcement today, and the sports radio coverage of it sent me to the internet. One of the radio reports says the discrepancy was in the ratio of epitestosterone (E) to testosterone (T) in the urine, about which I was ignorant.

So, off to MD Consult, where Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, Volume 32 • Number 1 • March 2005 says the difficulty catching athletes abusing T for performance enhancement was cracked by:

…measuring the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, with a result of greater than 6:1 considered suggestive of exogenous testosterone administration [34].

[34] was a reference to Issues in detecting abuse of xenobiotic anabolic steroids and testosterone by analysis of athletes’ urine. Catlin DH – Clin Chem – 01-JUL-1997; 43(7): 1280-8 which says:

…The process of determining if an athlete has used testosterone (T) begins with finding a T to epitestosterone (E) ratio > 6 and continues with a review of the T/E-time profile. For the user who discontinues taking T, the T/E reverts to baseline (typically approximately 1.0). For the extremely rare athlete with a naturally increased T/E ratio, the T/E remains chronically increased. Short-acting formulations of T transiently increase T/E, and E administration lowers it. ….

So, what’s to be done? It’s not only a retesting of the ‘backup sample’ but a comparison of ratios from previous samples. Landis has been racing long enough there’s probably 200 gallons of his pee in little bottles available for comparison.

I should note this is from a 15 minute session looking at the first literature hits; also, I don’t have anything to do with drug testing in sports. I’m waiting with you to see what happens.

Landis Tests Positive

Well, crud:
SI.com – More Sports – 2006 Tour de France – Tour de France winner Landis gives positive drugs test – Thursday July 27, 2006 11:36AM

LONDON (AP) — Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday on its Web site, raising questions about his victory.

The team suspended Landis, pending results of the backup “B” sample of his drug test, just four days after Landis stood on the victory podium on the Champs-Elysees, succeeding seven-time winner Lance Armstrong as an American winner in Paris.

The Swiss-based Phonak team said it was notified by the UCI on Wednesday that Landis’ sample showed “an unusual level of testosterone/epitestosterone” when he was tested after stage 17 of the race last Thursday.

Bye-bye Tour de France win.

The good news? Now he’s got plenty of time to get that hip fixed…

How Pandemics Will Spread: An Object Lesson

Take an over-intelligent American in a foreign country.

Let said American get sick with a possibly contagious illness. What’s the first thing they want to do? Get back to the US. For example, from CNN:

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — This Andean highlands capital has twice felled famed hacker and security consultant Kevin Mitnick.

“I’m looking forward to getting on the first plane to the United States,” Mitnick, 42, said Wednesday from his hospital room in the Colombian capital, where he said he’d been laid up for about three days with a bad flu.

Mitnick blamed Bogota’s 8,700-foot (2,650-meter) elevation and a prescription drug he was taking for that trip to the hospital.

This time it was simply a nasty flu, accompanied by a fever reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit), that prevented Mitnick from attending a big weekend hacker’s conference in New York.

“I tried to get to the airport to get to the plane to New York and just couldn’t make it,” he said.

(empahsis added).

This is a smart person, make no mistake. And, It’s my prediction that aluminum birds will bring bird flu when it comes, not feathered ones.

Change of Shift #3 is up

Change of Shift: Volume One, Number Three // Emergiblog