Gambelunghe, C., Sommavilla, M., & Rossi, R. (2002). Testing for nandrolone metabolites in urine samples of professional athletes and sedentary subjects by GC/MS/MS analysis. Biomedical Chromatography, 16(8), 508-512.

<"The concentrations of nandrolone metabolites, 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) and 19-noretiocholanolone (19-NE) were analysed in urine samples of professional athletes doing intense physical activity and sedentary subjects to verify if there was endogenous production of nandrolone and if there was any link between physical effort and the urinary metabolites of the steroid. We collected 18 urine samples from professional footballers age range 20-30 years, all from the same team, and 18 urine samples from males not doing any physical activity, age range 20-30 years. Neither group used nandrolone. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of urinary nandrolone metabolites were carried out by GC/MS followed by GC/MS/MS to confirm positive samples. This technique has been demonstrated to be an excellent analytical approach for the determination of anabolic steroids at very low detection limits in complex matrices such as urine. In five urine samples from professional footballers traces of 19-NA were detected. No trace of 19-NA was found in the group of sedentary subjects and no trace of 19-NE was found in any urine sample. The absence of nandrolone metabolites in sedentary subjects supports the hypothesis that the presence of 19-NA and 19-NE could be linked to physical effort even though the origin is not yet clear"./P>

Implication. This article shows that sedentary people [in Italy] do not exhibit either 19-NA or 19-NE in urine. However, athletes do exhibit it. Given the distribution of human qualities, it is reasonable to expect a significant proportion of athletes to yield positive tests through the existence of endogenous 19-NA or 19-NE. This could be considered a by-product of playing football. When one adds to that, the feature of frequent collisions (aka. injuries of a minor nature), 19-NA would even go higher. What is interesting is that 19-NE was not observed in any sample supporting the contention that the positives were for endogenous 19-NA.

This is one research item that could lead to doubt about a player's positive test being an artifact of something to do with exercise. I reveals a confounding variable for strengthening the argument that the absolute level of 2 ng/ml will convict many serious honest athletes.

19-NA is either a selection factor attributed to the attainment of professional status in football or an artifact of participating in football (training for vigorous activity).

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