A new sulphate metabolite as a long-term marker of metandienone misuse

Steroids. 2013 Dec 11;78(12-13):1245-53. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2013.09.005. Epub 2013 Sep 19.


Metandienone is one of the most frequently detected anabolic androgenic steroids in sports drug testing. Metandienone misuse is commonly detected by monitoring different metabolites excreted free or conjugated with glucuronic acid using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) after hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase and liquid-liquid extraction. It is known that several metabolites are the result of the formation of sulphate conjugates in C17, which are converted to their 17-epimers in urine. Therefore, sulphation is an important phase II metabolic pathway of metandienone that has not been comprehensively studied. The aim of this work was to evaluate the sulphate fraction of metandienone metabolism by LC-MS/MS. Seven sulphate metabolites were detected after the analysis of excretion study samples by applying different neutral loss scan, precursor ion scan and SRM methods. One of the metabolites (M1) was identified and characterised by GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS as 18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl-17α-methylandrost-1,4,13-triene-3-one sulphate. M1 could be detected up to 26 days after the administration of a single dose of metandienone (5 mg), thus improving the period in which the misuse can be reported with respect to the last long-term metandienone metabolite described (18-nor-17β-hydroxymethyl-17α-methylandrost-1,4,13-triene-3-one excreted in the glucuronide fraction).

Keywords: Doping analysis; LC–MS/MS; Metandienone; Sulphate metabolites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Doping in Sports
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methandrostenolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methandrostenolone / metabolism*
  • Methandrostenolone / pharmacokinetics
  • Methandrostenolone / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / metabolism*
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / pharmacokinetics
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • 18-nor-17-hydroxymethyl-17-methylandrost-1,4,13-triene-3-one sulfate
  • Biomarkers
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Methandrostenolone