use of isotope ratio mass spectrometry in doping control
My interests are diverse ranging from chemistry education to detection of banned substances in athletes (doping control) and the use of high pressure in synthesis.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) prohibits administration of performance enhancing steroids in competitive athletes. Many of these steroids are naturally occuring and distinguishing between a steroid that is naturally produced in the body from the same compound that has been illegally taken, poses a significant challenge to doping control laboratories.
Detection relies on the presence of marker compounds in combination with Combustion-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (CIRMS). The ratio of the carbon isotopes 12C to 13C varies slightly depending on the plant type from which food is produced. A person would be expected to have a constant ratio of these isotopes in all endogenous steroids and related metabolites which reflects their overall diet. Administration of, say, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) will alter this ratio in steroids formed from DHEA. Measuring the carbon isotope ratio of endogenous steroids that are related to DHEA and comparing this with the isotope ratio of those that are not, will enable external administration of DHEA to be detected.
This research will be conducted off-site at the National Measurement Laboratory.
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For further information, please contact:
School of Chemistry
University of Sydney NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 6055