Baseball players – along with other athletes – are loading up on synthetic testosterone (and perhaps HGH) at night, when the body is repairing itself between games and workouts. The testosterone is administered through patches, gels, creams or orals. By the following afternoon, when that player is vulnerable to MLB testing, the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone is beneath the 4-to-1 ratio that triggers a positive test.
“It’s a loophole,” Conte said, “you could drive a Mack truck through.”
For what it’s worth, Conte believes designer steroids – the Clear, for one – are no longer a danger to professional sports. But, the fast-acting testosterone treatments, he said, leave a person’s system within hours, after aiding him in muscle recovery, and so they are undetectable through the most common forms of testing. They also are easily obtainable and often administered as simply as through a patch.
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He said MLB should conduct carbon isotope ratio (CIR) tests, which expose the presence of synthetic testosterone without relying on T/E ratios because it differentiates between synthetic and natural testosterone.
Otherwise, Conte said, “A player could use micro-doses of testosterone after every single game and stay below the 4-to-1 ratio. I think this is an opportunity to make a change. CIR testing – as a screen test, not as a follow-up – would help level the playing field.”
ESPN reported Saturday that Braun tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and was appealing a 50-game suspension.
Braun – through his agent – has denied intentionally taking a banned substance. His attorney, David Cornwell, said in a statement, “Any report that Ryan ingested a performance-enhancing drug is wrong.”