Journal Published Online: 01 January 2002
Volume 47, Issue 1

Hair Analysis of Seven Bodybuilders for Anabolic Steroids, Ephedrine, and Clenbuterol



Several bodybuilders, all winners of international competitions, were arrested for trafficking of a number of doping agents including anabolic steroids, ephedrine, beta-adrenergics, human chorionic gonadotropin, antidepressants, and diuretics.

In accordance with the recent French law against doping, the judge asked to test seven bodybuilders to identify doping practices. Hair and urine specimens were collected for analysis. After decontamination, a 100 mg hair strand was pulverized in a ball mill, hydrolyzed, extracted, and derivatized to be tested by GC/MS for anabolic steroids, beta-adrenergic compounds, ephedrine, and other doping agents. Urine was analyzed for anabolic steroids and metabolites, beta-adrenergic compounds, ephedrine, and human chorionic gonadotropin, in addition to a broad spectrum screening with GC/MS.

The following compounds were detected in urine: ephedrine (29 and 36 ng/ml, n = 2), clenbuterol (0.2 to 0.3 ng/ml, n = 3), norandrosterone (4.7 to 100.7 ng/ml, n = 7), norethiocholanolone (0.9 to 161.8 ng/ml, n = 6), stanozolol (1 to 25.8 ng/ml, n = 4), methenolone (2.5 to 29.7 ng/ml, n = 4), testosterone (3 to 59.6 ng/ml, n = 7), epitestosterone (1 to 20.4 ng/ml, n = 7) and ratio testosterone/epitestosterone n = 6 for four subjects (18.5 to 59.6).

The following drugs were detected in hair: ephedrine (0.67 and 10.70 ng/mg, n = 2), salbutamol (15 to 31 pg/mg, n = 3), clenbuterol (15 to 122 pg/mg, n = 6), nandrolone (1 to 7.5 pg/mg, n = 3), stanozolol (2 to 84 pg/mg, n = 4), methenolone (17 and 34 ng/ml, n = 2), testosterone enanthate (0.6 to 18.8 ng/mg, n = 5), and testosterone cypionate (3.3 to 4.8 ng/mg, n = 2). These results document the doping practice and demonstrate repetitive exposure to anabolic compounds and confirm the value of hair analysis as a complement to urinalysis in the control of doping practice.

Author Information

Dumestre-Toulet, V
Laboratoire BIOffice, Artigues Pres Bordeaux, France
Cirimele, V
Institut de Médecine Légale, Strasbourg, France
Ludes, B
Institut de Médecine Légale, Strasbourg, France
Gromb, S
Unité de Médicine Légale, C.H.U. Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France
Kintz, P
Institut de Médecine Légale, Strasbourg, France
Pages: 4
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Stock #: JFS15228J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15228J