Frequency of steroid hormone misuse

Considering this misuse of AAS, the question arises to what extent AAS are really misused? Is it restricted to a few high-level performing athletes in sports or is it so extensive as to be regarded as a social drug problem? Available data derive

1. from positive findings resulting from checking AAS doping in competition sports and

2. from results of questionnaires concerning the use of AAS in non-competitive sports.

24.2.1 Androgen misuse in controlled competition sports

Androgen misuse in competition sports is investigated by laboratories which are accredited by the IOC/World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Each year the accredited laboratories (30 laboratories in 2003 worldwide) report the positive findings from the A-samples. The annual testing frequency was about 120,000 samples for all laboratories. From 1992-2001 a total number of 1.034.131 doping tests were analyzed by the IOC accredited laboratories for olympic and non-olympic sports and 8,737 AAS were reported in different types of sport. Fig. 24.1 shows the chemical structure of misused steroids. The data indicate that the misuse of AAS is limited to a number of well-known AAS. Among the most frequent steroid hormones misused in controlled competitive sports are the synthetic steroids nortestos-terone, stanozolol, metandienone and methenolone and the endogenous steroid testosterone.

24.2.2 Androgen misuse in non-controlled sports

In comparison to officially controlled competition sports, no analytical data from laboratories concerning the misuse of AAS are available for those areas of athletics

Boldenone Clostebol Dihydrotestosterone

Boldenone Clostebol Dihydrotestosterone

Fig. 24.1 Structure formula of AAS which have been internationally detected in doping tests in sports.

and private life where no tests are performed. To overcome this lack of information scientists have performed surveys; however, only a few publications are available. Yesalis et al. (1993) published results of investigations in the United States and calculated that 1 million Americans had used AAS sometime in their lives, including about 250,000 in the past year. In 1993 a Canadian study (Canadian Centre for Drug-Free Sport 1993) confirmed that in Canada 80,000 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 had applied AAS. Aself-report questionnaire about the misuse of AAS among 13,355 Australian high school students reported 3.2% of male and 1.2% of o oh



Dehydroepiandrosterone 5-Androstenediol

Dehydroepiandrosterone 5-Androstenediol


4-Androstenedione Fig. 24.2 Structure formula of prohormones of testosterone.

4-Androstenediol female users (Handelsman and Gupta 1997). Questionnaires from Switzerlandwere summarized by Kamber (1995), who concluded that AAS are a serious problem. A questionnaire from 16,000 recruits in Switzerland and 3,700 women of the same age showed that 1.8% of the recruits and 0.3% of the women had administered AAS in 1993.

Data concerning the most commonly misused AAS in non-controlled sports are only available via recommendations in magazines for bodybuilders, via "underground" handbooks (Taylor 1982; Duchaine 1989; Grundig and Bachmann 1995), the internet and via confiscated, smuggled substances and those obtained from black market sources. Frequently recommended AAS include boldenone unde-cylenate, drostanolone propionate, fluoxymesterone, mesterolone, metandienone, methandriol dipropionate, methenolone enanthate, methyltestosterone, nortestos-terone decanoate and other esters (cypionate, hexylphanylpropionate, laurate), oxandrolone, oxymetholone, stanozolol, testosterone in the form of different esters (cypionate, decanoate, enanthate, isocaproate, hexanoate, isohexanoate, phenyl-propionate, propionate and undecanoate) and trenbolone, trenbolone acetate.

These substances are largely identical with those products which were confiscated and distributed by the black market.

Since 1999 prohormones of testosterone (Fig. 24.2), dihydrotestosterone (Fig. 24.3), steroids with 5a-androst-1-ene structure (Fig. 24.3), and prohormones of nortes-tosterone (Fig. 24.4) have been marketed in the United States as nutritional supplements. Prohormones are advertised as having effects similar to testosterone, dihydrodestosterone and nortestosterone because of a "high conversion rate" of prohormones to the physiologically effective steroids in the human body after oral,

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