Employing 11-Ketotestosterone as a Target Analyte for Adrenosterone (11OXO) Administration in Doping Controls

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Adrenosterone (Androst-4-ene-3,11,17-trione, 11OXO) is forbidden in sports according to the Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The administration of 11OXO may be detected by monitoring the urinary concentrations of its main human metabolites 11β-hydroxy-androsterone and 11β-hydroxy-etiocholanolone. Preliminary urinary concentration and concentration ratio thresholds have been established for sports drug testing purposes, but adaptations are desirable as the suggested limits would result in numerous suspicious findings due to naturally elevated concentrations and ratios. Recently, the metabolism of 11-oxo-testosterone (KT) was investigated in the context of anti-doping research, resulting in a preliminary urinary concentration threshold and a confirmation procedure based on the determination of carbon isotope ratios (CIRs). Gas chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry was employed to investigate the CIRs of selected steroids. As KT is also a metabolite of 11OXO, the developed protocols for KT have been tested to elucidate their potential to detect the administration of 11OXO after a single oral dose of 100 mg. In order to further improve the analytical approach, the threshold for urinary concentrations of KT was re-investigated by employing a reference population of n = 5232 routine doping control samples. Quantification of urinary steroids was conducted by employing gas chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. Derived from these, a subset of n = 106 samples showing elevated concentrations of KT was investigated regarding their CIRs. By means of this, potentially positive samples due to the illicit administration of 11OXO or KT could be excluded, and the calculation of reference population-derived thresholds for the concentrations and CIR of KT was possible. Based on the results, the urinary concentration threshold for KT is suggested to be established at 130 ng/mL.
Original languageEnglish
Article number141
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)141
Publication statusPublished - 26.02.2024


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