Thursday, July 27, 2006

Landis: the odd thing about the test results

On NPR a specialist in doping described Landis results differently from the news stories. This is typical of what we're reading:
KRT Wire | 07/27/2006 | Landis denies cheating, admits Tour win will be questioned

...The test conducted at France's anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry turned up high levels of testosterone, which medical experts say can increase stamina in the short run.

According to a statement posted on the Web site of Phonak, a cycling union official informed Landis' team that the rider's sample revealed 'an unusual level of testosterone/epitestosterone' when he was tested July 20.
The story on NPR was that his free testosterone was not in fact elevated. The epitestosterone was very low, so the ratio was elevated to about 11. Anything above 6 is out of the accepted range, so a value of 11 is extreme.

I was hoping someone on medlogs would do a more clinical analysis, but so far the press reports are just repeating the elevated testosterone line. I admit I'm harboring the faint hope it's something innocent, but I'm also curious about what would mess up the ratio. An effect of another banned substance? It's been too long since I knew my endocrinology ...

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