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Chemical That Masks Steroids Finds a Market

From Associated Press

A chemical found in the possession of a University of Texas football player in October is often used to mask the results of steroid tests, doctors and NCAA officials say.

The chemical, epitestosterone, made by the Sigma Chemical Company, is reportedly finding its way into locker rooms where some athletes use it to beat steroid detection tests.

Alan Luther, a reserve lineman for the Longhorns, was charged with possession of a controlled substance after police found a small vial labeled “epitestosterone” in his car, the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday.

Charges against Luther were dropped after tests affirmed that the chemical was epitestosterone rather than testosterone, which is illegal. Luther said he used epitestosterone to treat his shoulder for pain and inflammation.

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Epitestosterone is not available by prescription and has no medical use, said Dr. William Taylor, a specialist in anabolic steroids.

Taylor said athletes can inject the chemical an hour before a drug test and still pass the test.

“Athletes are very savvy, and this is just another example of it,” said Frank Uryasz, NCAA director of sports sciences. “We’re always faced with the problem that athletes know what to use and when to use it.”

“If an athlete has 24 hours notice, he can beat the drug test every time by using epitestosterone,” Taylor said.

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