A1 Journal article (refereed)
Inter‐individual variation of the urinary steroid profiles in Swedish and Norwegian athletes (2020)

Mullen, J., Bækken, L. V., Törmäkangas, T., Ekström, L., Ericsson, M., Hullstein, I. R., & J Schulze, J. (2020). Inter‐individual variation of the urinary steroid profiles in Swedish and Norwegian athletes. Drug Testing and Analysis, 12(6), 720-730. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.2778

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mullen, Jenny; Bækken, Lasse Vestli; Törmäkangas, Timo; Ekström, Lena; Ericsson, Magnus; Hullstein, Ingunn R.; J Schulze, Jenny

Journal or series: Drug Testing and Analysis

ISSN: 1942-7603

eISSN: 1942-7611

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 12

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 720-730

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.2778

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67902


The steroidal module of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) aims to detect doping with endogenous steroids, e.g. testosterone (T), by longitudinally monitoring several biomarkers. These biomarkers are ratios combined of urinary concentrations of testosterone and metabolically related steroids. However, it is evident after five years of monitoring steroid passports, that there are large variations in the steroid ratios complicating its interpretation.

In this study, we used over 11 000 urinary steroid profiles from Swedish and Norwegian athletes to determine both the inter‐ and intra‐individual variations of all steroids and ratios in the steroidal passport. Furthermore, we investigated if the inter‐individual variations could be associated with factors such as gender, type of sport, age, time of day, time of year and if the urine was collected in or out of competition.

We show that there are factors reported in today's doping tests that significantly affect the steroid profiles. The factors with the largest influence on the steroid profile was what type of sport classification the athlete belonged to as well as if the urine was collected in or out of competition. There were also significant differences based on what time of day and time of year the urine sample was collected. If these significant changes are relevant when longitudinally monitoring athletes in the steroidal module of the ABP, has to be further evaluated.

Keywords: doping; steroids; testing methods; urine; biomarkers; variation; profiles (information); athletes

Free keywords: doping in sports; athlete biological passport; steroid profile; confounding factors; urinary steroids

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 10:53