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Tuesday 11, Aug 2009

  New Benzothiazepine test in pipeline to catch sports cheats

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New Benzothiazepine test in pipeline to catch sports cheatsIf recent findings about a Benzothiazepine test are to be believed, avoiding detection at doping tests may get harder for steroid-taking sportsmen who use a specific range of untested but potentially performance enhancing compounds.

In the last few years, doping tests have been developed only after a drug was known to be in the circulation. But now a German Research Team has developed tests for a class of drugs that may be used by sports cheats in the near future.

From News-Medical.Net:

On the face of it, the Beijing Olympics were remarkably drug free with only six athletes being caught during the games and three further suspect cases identified after the games closed. Rumours suggest that many athletes were in fact using performance-enhancing drugs that could not be detected using standard tests. One possibility is that some athletes were using compounds that have not yet been tested in humans, but have shown performance enhancing properties in animal trials. Because these compounds are in the early stage of development no test has been developed, so their use will go undetected.

A new test, announced in the launch issue of the new journal, Drug Testing and Analysis, will help sports officials stay one step ahead of the game by allowing them to screen for some of these emerging drugs, as well as others in the same class that have not yet reached the market.

The test detects a core chemical structure belonging to a class of compounds called benzothiazepines. These compounds stabilise protein channels that would otherwise “leak” calcium from muscle cells during strenuous exercise. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction and this “leaking” effect weakens the contractions and is a causal factor in muscle fatigue.

JTV-519 and S-107, benzothiazepines currently in development for the treatment of heart abnormalities, are known to increase endurance in mice. Although they have not yet entered human clinical trials, both can be detected using the test.

Mario Thevis, Director of the Center for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University of Cologne, Germany remarked that as soon as these drugs enter the stage of human clinical trials, there will be a huge potential for them to be misused by some sportsmen to gain an ‘unfair’ advantage. The preventive research will help doping bodies and scientists prepare before these compounds are launched in an official manner.

The fact that steroids and sports have become an instant-hit relationship has always been a concern for doping bodies but sportsmen have begun to enjoy this ‘relationship.’

Thursday 30, Jul 2009

  New test can detect new endurance drugs

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New test can detect new endurance drugsA team of researchers in Germany, led by Mario Thevis, Director of the Center for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University of Cologne, developed a new kind of test to detect a class of compounds known as benzothiazepines.

Benzothiazepines are known to treat variant angina, drug-induced, stable or naturally-occurring. Drugs such as Diltiazem contain this compound.

This compound is known to stop calcium leaking out of the muscles. Calcium is very important in obtaining optimum muscle contractions, end if it leaks out, then this would cause weakening and eventually, muscle fatigue.

Compounds in their early stage of development, especially when they have not undergone any human clinical trials, may be left undetected. In the past, tests are usually developed only after a drug is known to be in circulation.

This time, however, the researchers obtained molecular “fingerprints” of this compound to be used for future testing to trace JTV-519 and S-107 benzothiazepines. This is to help sports officials prepare for any future misuse of the drug. The test is ultra sensitive that it can even detect small concentrations of the compound found in urine to as low as 0.1 nanograms per milliliter.

According to Mario Thevis from Science Daily:

“We used the common approaches that are employed for detecting anabolic agents. Our work showed that we could identify the right compounds and that we have a sensitive test,” says Thevis.