Confiscated black market products and nutritional supplements with non-approved ingredients analyzed in the Cologne Doping Control Laboratory 2009

Drug Test Anal. 2010 Nov-Dec;2(11-12):533-7. doi: 10.1002/dta.186. Epub 2010 Oct 26.


Doping control laboratories are frequently confronted with new substances that may be misused by athletes. Besides new pharmaceuticals, where method development for their detection is dependent on the availability of the substance and corresponding administration studies, some professional and amateur athletes are using illicit 'black market' products, which either differ from known pharmaceuticals but cause similar effects or still are undergoing clinical trials and are therefore rarely available to doping control laboratories. In the Cologne Doping Control Laboratory, different confiscated products and legally obtained nutritional supplements were analyzed in 2009, and various findings were reported including GH-labelled injection vials without any pharmacologically active content; combinations of products indicating the attempt to mask growth hormone abuse; unpurified long-R(3) -IGF-1; nutritional supplements containing the growth hormone releasing peptide-2 (GHRP-2); and ampoules containing the selective androgen receptor modulator Andarine (S-4). This review provides an overview on the substances that were analyzed in 2009. Ingredients relevant for doping control were identified by means of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry methods. The awareness of new products on the black market and in nutritional supplements is of utmost importance for laboratories to develop detection methods accordingly and screen for new substances as early as possible.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / analysis*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances