Drug cheats who think they can fool the body and use them may have their lives made much more difficult by researchers who replicate natural hormones with synthetic steroid hormones at the Florida Institute of Technology.
Using the brand-new method, the researchers identified half of the substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with detection limits of below one nanogram per millilitre.
WADA also believes it can be used to discover synthetic substances currently unknown to it.
"If we can develop methods to identify theoretical steroids in the future, we could drastically reduce doping because we could detect these new species immediately, without the lag time associated with anti-doping testing over the last 40 years," explains Chouinard.
Testing with ion mobility spectrometry is fast and straightforward, but the equipment required can cost up to $1 million.
Nevertheless, the enhanced sensitivity of the test will hopefully persuade more labs to invest in its development.
The aim of doping is not merely to perform well but also to meet expectations; education is the key to prevention.
You can read more about this breakthrough research at https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-04/acs-dba032221.php
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