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Could a serious Paleo Athlete fail professional drug tests?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM

After reading about MLBs new drug teat for HGH and Braun's overturned suspension for high levels of testosterone. Could a seriously trained athlete fail a drug test like these as a result of truly healthy living via diet in a world that isn't?

Ec6e6cb0bee067776433dea987d6c844

on February 27, 2012
at 08:57 PM

That makes sense.

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 27, 2012
at 08:41 PM

They do, but there are also tests for masking agents and epi is considered a masking agent. Thus, if you have metabolites of a masking agent in your system, per Joshua's answer above, you'd be busted.

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 27, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Well, *theoretically*, a clean athlete with high natural testosterone *could* test positive. That's unlikely, but it would be interesting to measure testosterone ratios in, say, the Kitavans just to see. Braun's test, fwiw, was based solely on the high ratio (in his case, 20:1) rather than on the presence of metabolites.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:15 AM

Thanks for the corrections Mark. I knew it was test vs. something - unfortunately *assumed* estrogen. However, I still think that even in the most extraordinary situations (that are, as you said, still hotly debated), this probably doesn't change the answer.

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:54 PM

This isn't quite right. WADA also tests for the ratio of testosterone/epitestosterone. Levels exceeding 4:1 are considered test failures, even in the absence of metabolites. See http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/end_steroids_aug_04.pdf There are debates whether naturally occuring ratios can exceed 4:1. The "normal" ration is 1:1, but of course top athletes might very well be top because they have a higher ratio.

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2 Answers

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246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:13 PM

In a word: No

Drug tests look for metabolites of synthetically produced hormones. In addition, for most synthesized hormone tests they look at the ratio of testosterone to estrogen (in addition to metabolites). You could have the highest natural test of any human male on the planet, but if your ratio of estrogen was correct, and you had no metabolites of synthesized hormone in your system, you would pass the drug test.

This is why when you hear in the news of an athlete failing a test, it will say "Joe Pectoral was tested positive for metabolites of testosterone.", it won't say the person tested positive for "testosterone".

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:54 PM

This isn't quite right. WADA also tests for the ratio of testosterone/epitestosterone. Levels exceeding 4:1 are considered test failures, even in the absence of metabolites. See http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/end_steroids_aug_04.pdf There are debates whether naturally occuring ratios can exceed 4:1. The "normal" ration is 1:1, but of course top athletes might very well be top because they have a higher ratio.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 25, 2012
at 01:15 AM

Thanks for the corrections Mark. I knew it was test vs. something - unfortunately *assumed* estrogen. However, I still think that even in the most extraordinary situations (that are, as you said, still hotly debated), this probably doesn't change the answer.

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 27, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Well, *theoretically*, a clean athlete with high natural testosterone *could* test positive. That's unlikely, but it would be interesting to measure testosterone ratios in, say, the Kitavans just to see. Braun's test, fwiw, was based solely on the high ratio (in his case, 20:1) rather than on the presence of metabolites.

0
Ec6e6cb0bee067776433dea987d6c844

on February 27, 2012
at 08:18 PM

It's unlikely- though the testing is not uniform. Some are much stricter than others- the Olympics in particular are known for having very sensitive tests.

In reference to the comment above- I don't know why people don't cheat with testosterone 1:1 with epitestosterone.

744f86f48c92d4f89d99d7ddb864231e

(193)

on February 27, 2012
at 08:41 PM

They do, but there are also tests for masking agents and epi is considered a masking agent. Thus, if you have metabolites of a masking agent in your system, per Joshua's answer above, you'd be busted.

Ec6e6cb0bee067776433dea987d6c844

on February 27, 2012
at 08:57 PM

That makes sense.

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