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Doping: Eating pork creates illegal levels of Nandrolone

07.08.2002 | Source:



Athletes who eat pork from non-castrated males may show high levels of Nandrolone in urine samples

Portuguese scientists Jorge Barbosa and Alexandre Jose Galo have proved earlier suspicions raised by investigators at Nantes University, namely that eating pork from non-castrated animals can lead to unacceptably high levels of Nandrolone in the body, leading athletes to fail a doping test.

According to the current legislation, two nanogrammes per millilitre of 19 NA (nortestosterone) for men and 5 nanogrammes for women is enough to fail a doping test for athletes at high competition. The male pig, it has been found, naturally produces “great quantities” of this substance, according to the Portuguese scientists, leaving athletes who consume pork open to presenting levels of Nandrolone which will earn them a disqualification from competition involving the potential loss of millions of USD.

The Portuguese team works for the National Laboratory of Veterinary Investigation and published their results in the Portuguese Journal of Veterinary Sciences, January/March 2002. In their study, they refer to a previous investigation by a team from Nantes University, which claimed that consumption of muscular fibre in non-castrated pigs produced 1.1 to 13 nanogrammes per gramme of fibre, compared with 23 to 200 nanogrammes per gramme of liver.

People who had eaten 300 grammes of liver from non-castrated pigs were tested by the team at Nantes and their urine samples all showed unacceptably high levels of Nandrolone. The Portuguese team concluded their report by stating that the consumption of pork from such animals “can lead to serious problems for the people concerned” if involved in high competition.

Last year Portuguese football star Fernando Couto was banned from the game for several months after presenting a urine sample high in Nandrolone and the goalkeeper Quim was similarly banned just before the world football championship in Japan/South Korea in June.



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