Case studies have been used to study drug detection techniques
on athletes who self-administered anabolic-androgenic steroids
One of the most common methods of escaping detection when
using anabolic steroids is simply discontinuing the use of oral
anabolic steroid(s) several days prior to a drug test. Anavar,
Winstrol (tablets), and Dianabol are usually undetectable 3 to
4 days of after cessation. Injectable steroids usually have a
much longer detection interval. Metabolites of nandrolone have
been found in the urine of some athletes after 2 years it was
reportedly last used. Stanozolol (Winstrol-V) has been detected
in the urine of an athlete 4 months after cessation of its injection
(Di Pasquale, 1992, A).
Many oral anabolic steroids are more highly associated with
liver abnormalities. Their metabolites can be cleared from the
body in only fourteen days after discontinuing use and are therefore
more commonly used when drug testing is a concern (Yesalis, 1989).
Athletes have used various methods before drug testing to
either decrease the excretion of banned drugs or prevent the
detection of these drugs in the urine. Compounds that have been
used to decrease the excretion of unblock steroids and their
metabolites include uricosuric agents (e.g., probenecid, carinamide,
sulfinpyrazone, phenylbutazone, benzbromarone), corticosteroids,
estrogens, oral contraceptives (containing norethindrone), Depo-Provera,
phenytoin, pyrazinamide, dexamethasone, and apple cider vinegar.
Compounds used to prevent the detection of banned drugs in the
urine include various diuretics, Defend, and chemical contaminants
such as sodium hypochlorite, and bacteria. Defend acts by both
decreasing the excretion of the drug and by diluting the the
urine (Di Pasquale, 1992, A).
Bilateral gynecomastia developed during the steroid treatment
but disappeared a few months after cessation of the pharmaceuticals.
The severity was described as "hardly noticeable."
Men have been shown to be more susceptible to gynecomastia as
a result of anabolic-androgenic steroid use (Yesalis, 1989).
Gynecomastia in athletes has been associated with the increase
of serum estradiol concentrations during the use of anabolic-androgenic
steroids (Alen, 1985).
When athletes discontinue the use of anabolic steroids, they
experience a refractory period where they do not produce physiological
amounts of endogenous testosterone (Di Pasquale, 1992, A). Anabolic-androgenic
steroid can reduce endogeneous testosterone, gonadotrophic hormones
and sex hormone-binding globulin (Yesalis, 1989). Weight trained
athletes have been shown to have low serum testosterone concentrations
immediately after cessation of an anabolic-androgenic steroid
cycle but return to normal within weeks (Alen, 1985).
It should be noted, the effects of anabolic steroids vary
significantly depending upon the type and dose of steroid as
well as for different individuals and situations (Yesalis, 1989).
It may be a serious error to overgeneralize the effects and
potential side effects of specific anabolic-androgenic steroids
to all other anabolic-androgenic steroids. Likewise, it may be
also erroneous to assume the effects and potential side effects
of certain steroid use in relatively large dosage and/or long
duration will have the same effects and potential side effects
at a relatively lower and/or shorter duration. Furthermore, it
is not correct to assume the effects and potential side effects
of a certain steroid therapy on medical patients, or even individuals
within the "normal" population for that matter, will
have the same effects or potential side effects on a given athlete.
All of the effects of anabolic steroids have been demonstrated
to be fully reversible within several months following cessation
of use; except changes in in myocardium which has not been followed
The subject engaged in walking to utilize fat and to avoid
overtraining. Lower intense submaximal exercise utilizes proportionally
less carbohydrates. Intense or prolonged exercise can rapidly
deplete muscle glycogen (Di Pasquale, 1993). Protein can supply
up to 10% of total energy substrate utilization during prolonged
intense exercise if glycogen stores and energy intake is inadequate
(Di Pasquale, 1992, C; Brooks, 1987).
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which induces the breakdown
of cellular proteins. Cortisol increases as intense exercise
is prolonged (Di Pasquale, 1992, C). Submaximal exercise at lower
intensities (i.e. 63% maximum oxygen consumption) stimulates
lower cortisol response than higher intensities (i.e. 86% maximum
oxygen consumption) (Farrell, 1983; Naveri, 1985). Significant
elevations in cortisol seem to reduce endogenous testosterone
by acting directly upon the testis to impair the biosynthesis
of testosterone (Di Pasquale, 1992, C).
Resistive training was ceased four days before the show in
effort to restore glycogen in the muscle. In light of studies
that do not support the premise that carbohydrate loading increases
muscle girth (Balon, et. al 1992), it is suspected that muscle
girth could have been enhanced by continued weight training up
until the day before the show. The subject later noted that various
muscle girths decreased approximately 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) after
a layoff as little as 4 days. It seems localized muscle edema
diminishes days after weight training.