Doping Drug Detectable in the Body Weeks After Ingestion

The findings come as the result of anti-doping research at Freie Universität Berlin funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

No 153/2021 from Aug 06, 2021

According to a study spearheaded by Freie Universität Berlin, the anabolic androgenic steroid dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) is detectable in the body for several weeks after administration. The study was led by Maria Kristina Parr from the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy at Freie Universität Berlin. The anti-doping laboratory in Rome headed by Professor Francesco Botrè and a research team from Tianjin University managed by Professor Matthias Bureik were also involved in the experiments.

In the study, DHCMT was administered to five healthy male volunteers, and their urine samples were collected and tested for different metabolites (the intermediate and end products of metabolic processes) for a total of 60 days. The researchers were able to determine a link between the ingestion of DHCMT and the excretory products found in the urine samples - meaning that the results of the study may help scientists in interpreting the results from anti-doping laboratories across the world. This is also the first time that individual excreted metabolites have been detected over such a long period of time after ingestion, which could help researchers to learn more about the metabolic pathways of the human body.

The steroid DHCMT was marketed as Oral-Turinabol in the GDR. While production of the drug as a medication has long ceased, today it is primarily manufactured in illegal black-market laboratories. "DHCMT is still used today, as we saw recently in the case of the Armenian-Georgian shot putter, Benik Abramjan, who was disqualified from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo for testing positive for DHCMT and metandienone, as well as the hormone regulator Tamoxifen," explains Professor Parr. She says that the results of the study can also be used to interpret the results in this type of situation and therefore help to convict athletes who have taken performance enhancing drugs. "This is a crucial step in curbing the abuse of this substance and thus constitutes an important step in eliminating doping in sports," she continues.

Professor Parr’s working group has also managed to acquire further research funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The researchers are about to begin a project to investigate the effects of the aforementioned anabolic steroid metandienone on metabolism and its excretion.