Anabolic Steroid Testing
There is little question that drug testing has become an integral part of most competitive sports. Performance enhancing drugs are of course banned by most governing athletic bodies, and as such the use of various testing methods have been employed to deter and detect violators of drug abuse policies. If you have been following the Sydney Olympics you have no doubt been witness to the numerous athlete disqualification’s for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Does this mean that a handful of athletes have went ahead and unfairly used performance enhancing drugs to compete against the majority of clean competitors? Hardly. In reality a little game has developed between the athletes and governing bodies. The athletes often have planned and implement drug use regimens that will allow for the greatest chance of a clean urine sample upon testing, and the athletic committees struggle to stay one step ahead of the athletes in detecting violators. In many instances the athletes have not planned correctly, and as a result are disqualified from competition, even stripped of medals. But clearly drug use remains to be an inextricable side of competitive athletics. In this article we will take a closer look at the drug policies and testing methods employed in professional sports, as well as the private work place.
Standard Work Place
How long do steroids stay in your system?
WHAT HAPPENS IN A OLYMPIC DRUG TEST?
For an event test, the athletes selected for a drug test are notified immediately following the event (for example, at the end of the 400m sprint or Rugby League Grand Final). For “out of competition” testing athletes are normally notified by telephone that they will have to have a drug test done within the next 24 hours. ASDA can, however, conduct some “no notice – out of competition testing” if an International Sporting Federation requests “Out of competition” tests are normally carried out at training sessions.
The athlete will be accompanied to the drug control (an area which has been set up for the testing) by a chaperone. Chaperones are nominated by ASDA, not the sporting organization. The athlete may also be accompanied by their coach or manager.
To do a drug test an athlete must give a urine sample. Sealed drinks are provided to help the athlete go to the toilet.
When an athlete is ready to go to the toilet the chaperone accompanies them into the toilet. The chaperone must watch them pass their urine into a small plastic container.
The athlete will go back and secure their urine sample by pouring it into two small bottles. These bottles are identified as the A sample and the B sample. The A sample will be tested first, and if positive the B sample will be tested for confirmation.
The A and B samples are packed into small cases known as envopacks and locked with special seals. They are then sent to the laboratory for analysis.
The Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratories (ASDTL) in Sydney test the urine for banned drugs. The main groups of drugs that athletes are banned from using are:
Stimulants – e.g. cocaine, amphetamines, pseudoephedrine
Narcotic Analgesics – (painkillers) e.g. morphine, dextropropoxyphene
Anabolic Steroids – e.g. stanozolol
Other Hormones e.g. Human Growth Hormone
Beta-blockers are banned in sports where they are likely to enhance performance
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN OLYMPIC ATHLETE IS CAUGHT USING BANNED DRUGS?
A positive test result (i.e. a sample that contains a banned drug) can lead to an athlete being disqualified from their sport. In Australia, the athlete’s sporting organization decides on the ban that will be given for a positive test result.
The accidental or inadvertent use of a banned substance such as those contained in many cough and cold medicines is commonly known as inadvertent doping. This will usually incur a less serious ban.
Many common medicines contain banned drugs. Athletes should check with a doctor or coach before they take anything.
If an athlete refuses to take a drug test they are considered to have a positive test result and may be banned from their sport.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A NCAA DRUG TEST?
Each academic year the student athlete shall sign a form prescribed by the Council in which the student athlete consents to be tested for the use of drugs prohibited by NCAA legislation. Failure to complete and sign the consent form prior to practice or competition in Divisions I and II sports in which the Association conducts year-round drug testing and prior to competition in all other sports in Divisions I, II and III shall result in the student athlete’s ineligibility for participation (i.e., practice and competition) in all intercollegiate athletics.
Student athletes who fail to sign the notification form or signature form, fail to arrive at the collection station at the designated time without justification, fail to provide a urine sample according to protocol, leave the collection station before providing a specimen according to protocol, or attempt to alter the integrity or validity of the urine specimen will be treated as if there were a positive for a banned substance.
Student athletes competing in Divisions I-A, I-AA or II football or Division I indoor or outdoor track and field are subject to year-round testing.
At NCAA team championship events, immediately after any established cool down period after the event, student athletes selected for drug testing will be notified by a crew member. Each student athlete will be instructed to read and sign the Team Championship Student Athlete Notification Form. The notification form will instruct the student athlete to report to the collection station within one hour, unless otherwise directed by the crew chief or designate.
At NCAA on-campus, nonchampionship testing events, the student athlete will be notified of and scheduled for testing by the institution. The institution will notify the student athlete of the date and time to report to the collection station and will have the student athlete read and sign any Student Athlete Notification Form
Student athletes shall provide identification when entering the drug testing station.
When ready to urinate, the student athlete will select a sealed beaker from a supply of such and will record his/her initials on the beaker’s lid.
A crew member will monitor the furnishing of the specimen by observation in order to assure the integrity of the specimen until a specimen of at least 80 ml is provided.
If the specimen is incomplete the student athlete must remain in the collection station under observation of a crew member until the sample is completed. During this period, the student athlete is responsible for keeping the collection beaker closed and controlled.
If a student athlete is suspected of manipulating specimens (e.g., via dilution), the NCAA will have the authority to perform additional tests on that student athlete, not to exceed two consecutive negative tests.
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN NCAA ATHLETE IS CAUGHT USING BANNED DRUGS?
For student athletes who have a positive finding, The Center will contact the director of athletics or a designate by telephone as soon as possible. The telephone contact will be followed by “overnight/signature required” letters (marked “confidential”) to the chief executive officer and the director of athletics. The institution shall notify the student athlete of the finding.
A positive finding may be appealed by the institution to the NCAA competitive safeguards committee or a subcommittee thereof. The institution shall notify the student athlete of the positive test and of the right to appeal.
Student athletes who have a positive finding are declared ineligible.
NCAA Banned Anabolic Steroids and Diuretics
androstenediol, androstenedione, boldenone, clostebol, dehydrochlormethyl-testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dromostanolone, fluoxymesterone, mesterolone, methandienone, methenolone, methyltestosterone, nandrolone, norandrostenediol, norandrostenedione, norethandrolone, oxymesterone, oxymetholone, stanozolol, testosterone, clenbuterol.
acetazolamide, bendroflumethiazide, benzthiazide, bumetanide, chlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, ethacrynic acid, flumethiazide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, hydroflumethiazide, methyclothiazide, metolazone, polythiazide, quinethazone, spironolactone, triamterene, trichlormethiazide
The above is a brief overview of the NCAA Drug Test Protocol for more information please visit http://www.ncaa.org/sports_sciences…ting/index.html
Standard Work Place
WHAT HAPPENS IN A STANDARD WORK PLACE DRUG TEST?
We contacted several drug screening services representing thousands of businesses and not a single one tested for anabolic steroids. What is being tested for varies greatly based on testing company, expense, expectations, federal requirements etc., mostly the ladder. Following is a description of what to expect from the standard tests.
Federal government guidelines (by NIDA-The National Institute on Drug Abuse and SAMHSA-The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) require that companies which use commercial class drivers licenses for employees must have a testing system in place. Among other things, this required testing program must test for 5 specific categories of drugs (sometimes referred to as the “NIDA 5″). Because of this federal requirement, most drug testing companies offer a basic drug test which checks for drugs in these 5 common categories.
Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
Cocaine (cocaine, crack, benzoylecognine)
Amphetamines (amphetamines, methamphetamines, speed)
Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
Most drug testing companies also offer an expanded test which includes a few additional drugs in the testing process. Most do not add all of these in their expanded test, but choose a different combination of 3 or 4 to add :
Barbituates (Phenobarbital, Secobarbitol, Butabital)
Benzodiazepines (Valium, Librium, Serax, Rohypnol)
Propoxyphene (Darvon compounds)
In addition, there are a few other substances which it is possible but quite unusual to test for. I only found reference to testing for these additional substances at 1 (out of 15) drug testing site :
Hallucinogens (Psilocybin, Mescaline, MDMA, MDA, MDE)
Inhalents (Toluene, Xylene, Benzene)
There are three primary types of drug tests: blood, urine, and hair. Most common is the urine test which has the benefit of being inexpensive and less intrusive than the blood test.
Are the least expensive of the test methods (~$25-$50)
Can be done at home (for example by parents).
Detect use primarily within the past week (longer with regular use).
Can be affected by abstaining from use for a period of time before the test
Are often temperature tested to insure sample integrity
Are considered the least intrusive method of drug testing.
Are currently many times more expensive than urine tests (~$100-$150).
Detect substance use over a longer period (see detection period)
Do not usually detect use within the past week.
Require a sample of hair about the diameter of a pencil and 1.5 inches long. They can not be done with a single hair.
Test positive a little more than twice as often as a urine test. In a recent study, out of 1823 paired hair and urine samples, 57 urine samples tested positive for drugs of abuse; while 124 hair samples from the same group tested positive.
Are not significantly affected by brief periods of abstinence from drugs.
Can sometimes be used to determine when use occurred and if it has been discontinued. Drugs, such as opiates (codeine, morphine, heroin) lay down on the hair shaft very tightly and are shown not to migrate along the shaft, thus, if a long segment of hair is available one can draw some “relative” conclusions about when the use occurred. However cocaine, although very easy to detect, is able to migrate along the shaft; making it very difficult to determine when the drug was used and for how long.
Claims to be able to reliably differentiate between opiate and poppy seed use
Are considered the most intrusive method of testing.
Are the most expensive method of testing
Are the most accurate method of testing
Are the least common method of testing (most likely due to cost)
WHAT HAPPENS IF AN EMPLOYEE OR FUTURE EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE?
A positive test result can lead to being fired or suspended. For new hires testing positive you will most likely not get the job.
How long do steroids stay in your system?
18 months+ * nandrolone decanoate
9 months** nandrolone phenylpropionate
3-6 months** testosterone-mix (Sustanon & Omnadren)
3 months injectabel stanozolol
1-1.5 months*** oxymetholone
oral testosterone undecanoate
oral methenolone acetate
1-2 weeks clenbuterol
* Long-chain esterified injectable steroids are the most unreliable in terms of determining an actual clearance time. Their extremely low water solubility and high affinity for fat give them the ability to be stored in small amounts in body tissues for many months after use. These are the most dangerous types of drugs for tested competitors to use, particularly when being administered heavily in the off season.
** Short or medium chain esterified injectables are cleared from the body more rapidly than long chain injectables, however are still somewhat inconsistent in terms of calculable clearance times. It is safest to use such compounds only in the off season, provided this season protects the user from drug testing.
*** Oral steroids are the most reliable in terms of rapid clearance time. In many cases the athlete can safely use such compounds three weeks out from a drug test and return a negative result. The time frame of 1-1 1/2 months was provided as a guideline for maximum safety. The short chain esterified injectable testosterone propionate was included in this category due to the fact that testosterone metabolites will only cause a drug test failure if they appear in unusually high quantities (in relation to epitestosterone metabolites). Should agencies adopt procedures that look for the actual esterified compound in blood, this would be moved to one of the categories listing other small to medium chain steroids.
OTHER SUBSTANCES———– URINE—–HAIR
Alcohol—————————- 6-12 hrs- n/a
Amphetamines—————— 4-5 days- up to 90 days
Barbiturates——————— 2-12 days-n/a
Benzodiazepines————— 1-42 days-n/a
Cannabis (single use)——— 24-72 hrs-up to 90 days
Cannabis (habitual use)—— up to 12 wks
Cocaine————————– 4-5 days-up to 90 days
Codeine/Morphine————- 2-4 days-up to 90 days
Heroin—————————- 8 hrs—–up to 90 days
PCP——————————- 2-10 days-up to 90 days
All detection times are approximate.
Times may oscillate between a occasional user (1 a year)
vs. habitual user (4 times plus a week).