steroids-testsIn recent years, many amateur and professional athletes have been served punishments because they have been tested positive for steroids. And the punishments have varied in severity. Some were slapped with just a reprimand, others with suspension, and a few were dealt with harsher penalties – a lifetime ban from professional sports plus a jail term. Take a look at Tammy Thomas’s case, one of the most recent and controversial convictions due to steroid use in professional sports.

Because of the possible penalties, and not to mention the ridicule that might likely to be suffered by a steroid use, this question arises: Are tests for steroids conclusive?

According to one BBC News article a drug test may not be absolutely indicate that an athlete is consciously taking steroids like nandrolone. The article says that “even though a drug test may indicate that the subject has apparently taken nandrolone to boost muscle growth and increase strength; this does not necessarily prove wrongdoing.”

This is because the body can naturally create a form of nandrolone. This can happen when you eat large quantities of meat products contaminated with this compound. It can also happen when ingesting dietary supplements whose metabolites are basically the same substances created when nandrolone is broken down. These dietary supplements are not illegal substances.

Nandrolone is a compound that is known to improve the athlete’s capacity to train and compete. And like most steroids, nandrolone also reduce fatigue thereby improving the endurance of athletes who use it.

Famous athletes who have been tested positive for nandrolone include sprinter Linford Christie of Britain, Czech tennis player Petr Korda, and Christophe Dugarry French rugby player.

In addition, a study commissioned and funded by Informed-Choice and conducted by HFL Ltd., a Cambridge, England-based testing lab, has found out that there were 13 sports supplements that contained banned steroids (out of 52 tested) and six contained banned stimulants (out of 54 tested). The study, however, did not name the supplements which include energy drinks.