Effects of high-intensity exercises on 13C-nandrolone excretion in trained athletes

Clin J Sport Med. 2005 May;15(3):158-66. doi: 10.1097/01.jsm.0000158255.78040.ec.


Objective: Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid widely used in several sports. The numerous nandrolone positive cases in the recent years (International Olympic Committee statistics) led to several studies in the antidoping field. Nevertheless, essential questions pertaining to nandrolone endogenous production, the effects of physical exercise on the excretion of nandrolone metabolites, and contamination from nutritional supplements must still be addressed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of exhaustive exercises on 19-norandrosterone (19-NA) and 19-noretiocholanolone (19-NE) urinary excretion rates after administration of labeled nandrolone.

Setting and participants: A total of 34 healthy male Caucasian volunteers from the Institute of Sports Sciences and Physical Education (University of Lausanne) applied to participate in the study. All subjects were free from any physical drug addiction and were instructed strictly to avoid any nutritional supplement or steroid before and during the study. The participants were randomly dispatched in 2 groups in a double-blind way: a placebo group and a group treated with C-labeled nandrolone.

Main outcome measurements: The urinary concentrations of the 2 main nandrolone metabolites, 19-NA and 19-NE, were measured using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. In addition, clinical parameters such as creatinine, total protein, and beta2-microglobuline levels were determined using immunologic assays.

Results: After an oral ingestion of a 25 mg 3,4-C2-nandrolone dose, followed by a second identical dose 24 hours later, 19-NA and 19-NE could be detected in the urine for a period of 6 days after the initial intake. Despite several interesting observations, the measurements were very scattered and did not appear to be significantly influenced by exercise sessions in the athlete population.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that physical exercise cannot be considered as a reliable parameter that systematically affects nandrolone metabolite concentrations in the urine.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anabolic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test*
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nandrolone / administration & dosage
  • Nandrolone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radioisotopes
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine / chemistry*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Radioisotopes
  • Nandrolone