New Trends in Doping Analysis


  • Laurent Rivier



Analytical strategy, New instrumental analysis, Sport doping, Testosterone


New analytical techniques in sport doping detection have emerged over the last few years. Most of them are based on instrumental advances realized in trace analysis. As new chemicals are used without waiting for the safety analysis from the usual clinical tests, control laboratories have been forced to develop original analytical strategies. Globally, the number of positive findings from laboratories indicates that anabolic steroids are the most abused substances. Naturally occurring compounds are currently easily available because they are labeled as food supplements. Even the so-called pro-hormones of the steroid type are considered as nontherapeutic drug types in many countries. Mixtures of small doses of anabolic steroids or subcutaneous implants for the slow release of these active substances seem to be in frequent use and are difficult to detect in the laboratory. As a consequence, new highly sensitive instrumental strategies based on GC-C--IRMS or LC-MS have been implemented in most official international doping laboratories. But the formal characterization of doping offences in forensic toxicological terms is not just at the laboratory level; the legal aspects of acceptance of these new instrumental approaches also have to be covered. The way to the successful detection of these new chemicals is complex and the corresponding analytical and legal challenges are important as exemplified here by the case of testosterone.