Testing for Anabolic Steroids
‘Dope tests’ are usually carried on sports personnel to detect the presence of banned ‘performance enhancing’ drugs including anabolic steroids.
The samples of the athlete’s urine is analyzed using a 2–step technique involving the liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS technique).
Th various components of the urine are separated using liquid chromatography and these components are analyzed for anabolic steroids using mass spectrometry.
The results are compared with a series of known solutions with the steroid glucuronides.
Preparing these standard solutions and maintaining their purity is a long drawn process. Hence these tests are exclusive making them very expensive too.
However there are ways to avoid detection and many athletes have learnt these techniques. One of the most common methods used to escape detection is to use oral anabolics and stop them a week or ten days before the event. Oral AAS like Anavar, Dianabol, Winstrol are usually undetectable 3 to 4 days after stopping them. Most of the knowledgeable ones avoid injectables because some of these can be detected even months after they have been stopped. One must note that many oral ones lead to liver toxicity.
There are also ways to take another drug to prevent the detection of AAS. There is a whole industry that thrives by helping athletes to get round the problem of getting caught.
The fact that anabolic steroids are an integral part of bodybuilding cannot be ignored. But, in more ways than one, using these drugs reflect neither smartness nor sportsman spirit. A disciplined regime including eating the right food and perseverant training will definitely help sportsmen to reap a rich ‘medalic’ harvest and reach their desired pinnacles of glory.