“Stupidity and Mistakes of the Anti-Doping Crusade”

Velo Vortmax blasts WADA for its resistance to change in the face of additional new evidence that the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio test is flawed (“Genetic variations in enzyme UGT2B17: Implications,” April 3).

WADA refuses to worry about trivial genetic factors. WADA is loath to do longitudinal tests of athletes. WADA might find a variable that might refute their laboratory findings or challenge their presumption of laboratory perfection. WADA would never invest time and money doing pedigree studies to determine if a single metabolite above threshold for exogenous testosterone is a trait common in a family, or among a group of people found in a geographical region. But idiosyncratic individual differences in medicine have been documented in many pedigree studies. For example, hematocrit levels above 50% have been found in fathers and sons of elite cyclists. These hematocirt levels are inherited tendencies, not based on EPO doping. The same is true for testosterone/epitestosterone ratio(s) and may be true for Carbon Isotope metabolite delta/delta scores.

Personally, I’ve always been suspicious and critical of the arbitrary 50% hematocrit level as an indicator of EPO doping. Why? My hematocrit level has regularly and consistently exceeded 50% for the past 15 years and I’ve never used EPO. I may be an outlier, but I would venture to guess that a significant percentage of elite endurance athletes fall into the outlier category on various physiologic parameters.

The unreliability of the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio test (T:E ratio) and WADA’s insistence on its infallibility only further undermines the credibility of WADA.

It would be nice to believe that the isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) [used in the carbon isotope ratio testing (CIR) to detect exogenous testosterone use] is 100% reliable as WADA would suggest. But Velo Vortmax explains why we shouldn’t just trust WADA with this test.

The IRMS is an instrument that requires very precise controls of operation. The results of an IRMS is only as good as the laboratory performing the tests. Inexperienced laboratory personnel who cannot follow sequential steps in testing cannot be expected to arrive at the correct results. A valid IRMS is also only as good as the science behind the tests. A valid IRMS is only as good as the criteria required in WADA technical documents, by international standards, and by standardized criteria as to constitutes a positive result. WADA has failed in all these areas.

One hundred years from now will the scientists of the future shake their heads in amazement at our ignorance. Will they abhor the stupidity and mistakes of the anti-doping crusade? Will they be forced to restore the honor to “fallen” athletes?

Is it any surprise that there is a fair amount of skepticism regarding WADA’s new human growth hormone testing kits?


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