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  1. #1
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    Well, this complicates testosterone testing...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/sports/30doping.html

    The 55 men in a drug doping study in Sweden were normal and healthy. And all agreed, for the sake of science, to be injected with testosterone and then undergo the standard urine test to screen for doping with the hormone.
    Skip to next paragraph
    Earl Wilson/The New York Times


    The results were unambiguous: the test worked for most of the men, showing that they had taken the drug. But 17 of the men tested negative. Their urine seemed fine, with no excess testosterone even though the men clearly had taken the drug.

    ....

    “It’s disturbing,” said Dr. Don Catlin, the chief executive of Anti-Doping Research, a nonprofit group in Los Angeles. “Basically, you have a license to cheat.”

  2. #2
    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    I've got a blood test due in June when my Androgel script runs out. I'll ask to have it give the results for fake T/real T. Im curious what the ratio will be just going by the presribed amounts. UCI limit is 4:1 right?

    Not that i'll ever be in a UCI race...
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatguyRacer View Post
    I've got a blood test due in June when my Androgel script runs out. I'll ask to have it give the results for fake T/real T. Im curious what the ratio will be just going by the presribed amounts. UCI limit is 4:1 right?

    Not that i'll ever be in a UCI race...
    Its not fake-T / real-T. Its T / Epi-T. Epitestosterone is naturally ocurring in a ratio close to regular testosterone, but it does not increase when testosterone is boosted, so the ratio increases. Of course it is also possible to take epitestosterone to mask the testosterone increase.

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    2/3 of Asian men, and 1/10 Caucasian men lack two copies of a gene that makes testosterone water soluble. Thus, these people can take testosterone without affecting their T/E ratio in a urine test.
    Please remember that all statements unless quoted, are strictly my opinion of what happened. That there are as many opinions as there are spectators attending. I just choose to publish mine on this forum. And would NEVER intend to purposely hurt or discredit any other cyclist.... With that said... HTFU!

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    I'm pretty satisfied with a 70% failure rate. I would've thought it's much worse (lower), given the theories of how much doping is going on.

    A license to cheat? That's just a ridiculous conclusion, when you consider the shear number of tests that the more successful cyclists are tested. They're either doing less, something else, etc; or not doping. No one would take those odds.
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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Oops, actually looked at the article - this would imply that the 30% who passed, would pass every (most) times.

    How much Testosterone is 500 mg, anyway?
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    I'm pretty satisfied with a 70% failure rate. I would've thought it's much worse (lower), given the theories of how much doping is going on.

    A license to cheat? That's just a ridiculous conclusion, when you consider the shear number of tests that the more successful cyclists are tested. They're either doing less, something else, etc; or not doping. No one would take those odds.

    Seriously? You'd be OK with a test that determined your career that had a failure rate like that?
    Your safe white collar job demands a drug test every month for continued employment, and you would continue to work for that employed knowing they utilized a test that had an enormous failure rate? It's an inverted analogy, but the point stands.
    It's not a ridiculous conclusion-Think about it. You can ingest all the testosterone you want, and your T/E ratio never changes, no matter how often you stick that patch on your balls after the race. Your body somehow just rids itself of it.

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekhna View Post
    Seriously? You'd be OK with a test that determined your career that had a failure rate like that?

    Absolutely. We're talking about false negatives, not false positives. From everything we hear about pro cycling the actual false negative % is much, much higher.
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    Absolutely. We're talking about false negatives, not false positives. From everything we hear about pro cycling the actual false negative % is much, much higher.
    Sure, but it pokes holes in the idea of a testing regime. It's studies like this that make it clear that any testing regime is so rife with potential and actual failure to render the whole system moot. You'd have to make testosterone legal because there is a whole category of people for whom this test simply does not work. Of course if they were using synthetics, you might be able to test for the synthetic traces. What value does an anti-drug regime have if there is a genetic class that can simply laugh off the test?

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    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    How much Testosterone is 500 mg, anyway?
    10x my daily dosage of 50mg or 10 Androgel packets.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    Its not fake-T / real-T. Its T / Epi-T. Epitestosterone is naturally ocurring in a ratio close to regular testosterone, but it does not increase when testosterone is boosted, so the ratio increases. Of course it is also possible to take epitestosterone to mask the testosterone increase.
    You can do a stable-isotope Mass Spec test to determine the difference between fake and real testosterone. They have differing amounts of 13-C, I think.

  12. #12
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Trying to balance test sensitivity and selectivity is a very hard process to handle. You can try and get rid of the false negatives but you are going to be increasing the sensitivity and thus the number of false positives, which is likely an outcome that people don't want to have to deal with.

  13. #13
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    Exactly, the best practice is to find a quick screening tool that is highly sensitive and accept a few false positives in order to avoid any false negatives. You then use a second – and usually more labor intensive - validation method to verify the positives.

    The problem is, if they are using this as the screening tool, the samples will never make it to the validation level (eg GC-MS/MS).

    The answer is simple, yet costly, discard the screening tool entirely.

  14. #14
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    Exactly, the best practice is to find a quick screening tool that is highly sensitive and accept a few false positives in order to avoid any false negatives. You then use a second – and usually more labor intensive - validation method to verify the positives.

    The problem is, if they are using this as the screening tool, the samples will never make it to the validation level (eg GC-MS/MS).

    The answer is simple, yet costly, discard the screening tool entirely.
    I'd rather a bunch of false negatives to any false positives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    I'd rather a bunch of false negatives to any false positives.
    The validation method discards the false positives. If they aren't reported, they never existed.

  16. #16
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    The validation method discards the false positives. If they aren't reported, they never existed.
    That I think is part of the problem

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    Bingo.


    Of course I haven't heard about a positive that HASN'T been confirmed, so maybe I'm wrong.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    I'd rather a bunch of false negatives to any false positives.
    But if you read a more complete summary, you would have seen that in addition to the 30% false negatives, the test also gave 14% false positives. Why the N.Y. Times completely dropped this aspect of the study is beyond me. http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/rap...jc.2008-0218v1

  19. #19
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    They're idiots?
    They're incompetent?
    They're biased?
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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    But there's a larger issue here. WADA rules say that once a test is accepted, an athlete can not challenge the scientific validity of it; only the procedures under which it was carried out. So as it stands today according to WADA, the testosterone test is absolutely accurate and an athlete can not raise the issue of a false positive due to genotype. So you have to wonder how many of the other so-called fool proof tests WADA uses will be shown to be flawed in the future, or more dangerously never shown to be in error because there's no reason to study them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    Of course I haven't heard about a positive that HASN'T been confirmed, so maybe I'm wrong.
    Mary Slaney

  22. #22
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hmmm... being of Asian descent, this brings up some interesting possibilities. <JK>

    Adding testosterone to my physiology would just make me better pack fodder.
    Thanks.
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  23. #23
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    Mary Slaney
    Yeah, I figured there were, but I hadn't heard of any.
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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  24. #24
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    But there's a larger issue here. WADA rules say that once a test is accepted, an athlete can not challenge the scientific validity of it; only the procedures under which it was carried out. So as it stands today according to WADA, the testosterone test is absolutely accurate and an athlete can not raise the issue of a false positive due to genotype. So you have to wonder how many of the other so-called fool proof tests WADA uses will be shown to be flawed in the future, or more dangerously never shown to be in error because there's no reason to study them.

    Combined with the scary-er: Assuming two tests, and the 14% is randomly distributed... you'd have a 2% chance of failing both.

    Of course, it probably isn't random, and the second test probably confirms the first. Is the fake-testosterone test required in every case? Some cases? Whenever the testing-people feel like it?
    Reacting is mind candy; it requires no thought. Thinking is tedious.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    But if you read a more complete summary, you would have seen that in addition to the 30% false negatives, the test also gave 14% false positives. Why the N.Y. Times completely dropped this aspect of the study is beyond me. http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/rap...jc.2008-0218v1
    Huh. Great find, have you submitted a note to the editor?

    If someone doesn't want to dig for it:
    Today a T/E ratio cut-off limit of 4 gives cause
    for suspicion of testosterone doping. This test
    would misjudge over 40 % of the del/del
    subjects even on the day when the average ratio
    was the highest after a single dose of
    testosterone (fig 3, left panel). The genetic
    variability within and between ethnic groups is a
    confounder, particularly when testing individuals
    of various ethnic descents.
    On the contrary, in the ins/ins group 14 % had
    baseline T/E ratios above four. In our previous
    study (15) of a population sample of 122 young
    men this limit would give a false positive rate of
    9 %. False positive results are not only of
    concern for the legal rights of the sportsman;
    they also yield extra workload for the doing
    laboratories.

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