An undisclosed number of San Diego State track and field athletes must retake urinalysis tests for possible drug and anabolic steroid use because of unclear results, said Fred Miller, SDSU athletic director, Wednesday.
Miller maintained the school’s closed-lip policy concerning the test results by issuing the following statement:
“We have received the results of the March 28 testing. I’m told there’s a problem with the specific gravity in a limited number of the tests. As a result, several of our athletes will be retested. Hopefully, no one will draw any undue conclusions from this process. The onus is on the test, not on the students.”
Miller later refused to elaborate on his statement, saying, “At this time, we feel it is best to just go ahead and follow the medical verbage on this thing. All I can say is that the same team of doctors is coming down here tomorrow afternoon (today) to conduct the testing.”
Specific gravity deals with the density of urine, said Dr. Don Catlin of the UCLA School of Pharmacology, reached early Thursday morning in Cologne, West Germany where he was preparing to give a lecture on the use of anabolic steroids. Catlin’s laboratory was used in the testing of SDSU athletes for anabolic steroids.
Said Catlin: “If the tests need to be redone, we won’t do the testing tomorrow (Thursday). We would start it Sunday or Monday.”
Catlin said a problem with specific gravity is not common in the testing procedure. Dr. Manfred Doenike, a West German expert at Cologne’s German Sports Center and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission, agreed.
But according to Kent Pagel, a former Aztec assistant coach and field performer at the international level, it is not uncommon.
“Specific gravity is a problem they have all the time with these tests,” Pagel said. “Being as most of the athletes who took the tests had never been tested before, they probably drank too much water or something and it diluted the samples. When that happens, the tests must be taken again.”
Said Doenike: “Sorry, I do not think anybody can take too much water. This happens when the urine is diluted to the extent that you can suspect some sort of manipulation.”
Miller said the results of the latest testing would not be issued for a couple of weeks, and that the team would continue to compete this weekend as planned. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be in Palo Alto for a meet against Stanford, Washington and Fresno State.