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02-27-2012, 03:34 AM #1
MLB needs to use CIR testing to reduce testosterone microdosing
Conte: MLB needs to use Carbon Isotope Ratio screening to reduce testosterone microdosing
The recent doping case involving National League MVP Ryan Braun should prompt Major League Baseball to consider the use of CIR (Carbon Isotope Ratio) testing as a screen test for testosterone use.
CIR testing is used by MLB as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency's program, but only as a follow-up confirmation test. An MLB player's urine sample is initially screened for their testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio and if it's 4 to 1 or above, then a CIR test is performed to confirm that the elevated T/E ratio is from the use "synthetic" testosterone.
The CIR test has historically served as the "nail in the coffin" test in most doping cases involving testosterone.
The problem is that a normal T/E ratio is 1 to 1 and the allowable limit is 4 to 1. This makes it relatively easy for an athlete to stay under the 4 to 1 ratio by using microdosing techniques or fast-acting testosterone creams and gels. For example, a player could possibly use testosterone cream after a night game and then be well below the 4 to 1 ratio when they arrive at the ball park the next day.
The doping case of cyclist Floyd Landis is one of the more widely known cases involving an elevated T/E ratio with follow-up CIR testing. Landis' ratio was 11 to 1 and his CIR test confirmed his use of synthetic testosteorone. Landis vehemently denied using testosterone for a long time and then finally admitted that he had been lying all along.
It's important to note that sources were initially reporting that Braun's T/E ratio was "insanely high" at 20 to 1, but there have been several cases where an athlete's T/E ratio was over 80 to 1. In fact, one of the BALCO athletes that I worked with had a T/E ratio of 79 to 1.
Regardless of the number, an athlete’s denial that he or she used steroids or some other banned substance is hardly proof that they’re innocent of doping.
As an All-Pro NFL player I once worked with once said, "As soon as an athlete starts to use drugs, they become a liar."
Floyd Landis and Marion Jones can both serve as examples of elite athletes who lied about their drug use for years before finally making admissions. So, just because an athlete swears publicly that they didn't use drugs doesn't mean that they are telling the truth.
Some may argue that CIR testing is too expensive for MLB to use as a screen test, but I would disagree. CIR testing costs in the $400 per sample range, which is about the same as the blood test for HGH that has already been used in minor league baseball, and testosterone is a far more potent performance enhancer compared to HGH. In fact, research indicates that HGH is hardly effective unless it is used in conjunction with testosterone or another anabolic steroid.
I believe the use of CIR testing to screen all urine samples collected by MLB would significantly reduce microdosing of testosterone as well as the use of fast-acting testosterone creams, avoiding, perhaps, the kind of controversy baseball finds itself in today.
02-27-2012, 03:49 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
- Rep Power
It's a shame none of the natural bodybuilding federations make enough money to afford more advanced testing like this. I have heard a lot of 'natural' pros will low dose on quick esters and take estrogen so their levels and ratios stay in the normal range come test time. Maybe if they implemented this testing it might have an effect on cleaning up these organizations, unfortunately unlike MLB there is not a lot of money to go around.