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CagePotato PSA: Cycling Off Steroids Is Really Easy if You Know the Test Is Coming


(Well, this would explain Popeye’s bacne.)

In the wake of Alistair Overeem‘s tragically botched drug test, MMAJunkie.com medical columnist Dr. Johnny Benjamin delved into those mysterious T:E ratios, and underscored the argument for year-round random testing. Here’s what the doc said:

Testosterone (T) is the naturally occurring male hormone produced primarily in the testes. Epitestosterone (E) is an inactive form of testosterone that may serve as a storage substance or precursor that gets converted to active T.

Most men have a ratio of T to E of 1:1, which means normal men have equal amounts of T and E in their blood. There is some normal ethnic and time of day variation in the normal T/E ratio (as low as 0.7:1 and as high as 1.3:1).

Statistics reveal that a ratio of up to 3.7:1 will capture 95 percent of all normal men, and a ratio of up to 5:1 will capture greater than 99 percent of all men. That’s why the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) allows up to 4:1 (so its test is at least 95 percent accurate) and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the NCAA and some others allow up to 6:1 (for 99 percent accuracy). The whole goal is to not label someone a cheater when he or she isn’t. (Very, very rarely, some people are just freakishly high, but they have a ratio of less than 6:1).

Overeem, of course, had an eye-poppin’ 14:1 ratio.

T/E ratios are used in performance-enhancing-drug (PED) monitoring because taking an external (exogenous) source of T will not effect the E levels in the blood. E stays the same, but T climbs because of the injection, and the T/E ratio follows suit and climbs.

The half-life of injectable T is only eight days. So every eight days, half of the T you took is washed out of your blood. Therefore, if a cheater knows when he is likely to be tested (i.e. post-fight), he doesn’t need to be a genius to know when to stop taking (“cycle off”) to test lower than 6:1 or 4:1. Twenty-four days is three half-lives, and virtually none of the extra T is left in your system to get you busted.

T abuse is making a resurgence because of therapeutic-use exemptions (TUE for TRT). Also, it naturally occurs in men’s blood – unlike other anabolic steroids that at any level are unnatural (not made within the body) and must be masked in an attempt to beat the test. Cheaters don’t have to mask T, so they don’t worry about testing positive for a masking agent. They just need enough time for their bodies to get rid of it naturally.

If you don’t know when the test is coming, you cannot adequately plan or time when to stop taking a PED like T. This, of course, is the rationale for random testing.

For those of you who were stunned by Alistair Overeem‘s 14:1 result, keep in mind that former NFL player Johnnie Morton turned in a 83.9:1 T/E ratio after his knockout loss to Bernard Ackah at K-1 HERO’s Dynamite!! USA in June 2007.

Overeem has still yet to make a public statement about his failed drug test.

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xxxrayrayray- April 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm
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Fedor Penn- April 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm
Some test is in your system longer than 8 days and some much shorter. Depends on the ester. Test no ester only lasts around 8 hours. They should all use that or prop because they are out quicker than most tests.
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Foolio- April 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm
It is also possible that he was already cycling off and got caught in the middle of a T decline.
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macreadysshack- April 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm
What Amsterdam said. This doc is only talking about Enanthate ester. Hell Test Depot (no ester) is out of your system ten times faster than that.
RwilsonR- April 6, 2012 at 8:57 am
Can we get something that allows us to stay logged in for more than two hours at a time? And how about a fucking edit button already?
Get Off Me- April 6, 2012 at 8:42 am
@Ricardo Guitardo stringy like Duck with about as much flavor as a medium well filet mignon steak...in other words, not very tasty. On a side note, are we calling T a steroid now, it's no longer PED only, finally.... So now people can say Chael tested positive for Steroids and pull their heads outta their asses.
Ricardo Guitardo- April 6, 2012 at 8:26 am
What does horse taste like?
amsterdamheavy- April 6, 2012 at 8:07 am
Well, I had a huge post that just gotten eating because of the constant login requirement, FAIL.

To sum it up quickly, this statement is inaccurate: "The half-life of injectable T is only eight days."

The half life is based on the ester of testosterone being used. There are various ester and they are essentially a "time release: variable. Long esters take long for you body to process and make the testosterone available. Testosterone Suspension has no ester, and so is immediately available to the body. It also has teh shortest half life, which is measured in hours IIRC. It requires constant injections, and is painful to use. Teh shortest ester is Propionate, with a half life of 2 days, peopel who use this take an injection every other day to maintain levels. If you know your going to be tested and you are doing a testosterone ONLY cycle, this is the gold standard and what I would think that Ubereem uses. The longest test esters are cypionate and Enthanate, which are both in teh 12-14 day rage if I remember right. These are the most common forms used by peopel who arent being tested by a commission. Things get tricky though because for most experienced steroid users, testosterone is only the base of a cycle - almost everyone adds in additional substances for maximum effect and I would think this goes for Ubereem as well, I dount he was on test only, but there are a handful of other drugs that are available with short esters to match with it for his situation.
macreadysshack- April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm
Everything right - I think cypionate is 21 days - slightly longer than E but I could be wrong too. Too lazy to check but that's my understanding. Sorry for repeating what you said about suspension with my depot comment. I admit, I skimmed what you wrote initially but came back to it. Great post.
sja246- April 6, 2012 at 8:06 am
He didnt take the steroids, the horse he ate took them
The_Dead_Cow- April 6, 2012 at 7:48 am
Congrats Jonnie Morton, you have the high score.
Dog Dicks Magoo- April 6, 2012 at 7:21 am
In other news Overeem was spotted buying a microscope In Toys R Us so he could find his tiny shrunken balls.
The12ozCurls- April 6, 2012 at 7:16 am
Johnnie Morton tested a 83.9:1 T/E ratio! And he lost! That is insane - with that ratio he should have been thowing "Sonic Boom" boomarangs like Guile or spitting fire like Dhalsim
MMA Mafia- April 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm
Who used the flash kick? It was basically a standing back flip upper cut kick
Fried Taco- April 6, 2012 at 6:59 am
So Dr JB, what you're saying is that when Overeem took so long to take his test last time, he was just waiting until his T/E ratio dropped down? Dang, weren't we all bamboozled!!
The_Dead_Cow- April 6, 2012 at 7:46 am
Anyone who stalls for a week before a drug test isn't fooling anyone, especially the NSAC.
Bob Reilly- April 6, 2012 at 6:26 am
He told me he slipped and fell on a needle.
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