Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > WADA monitoring research on long-term effects of steroids
October 23, 2014
WADA monitoring research on long-term effects of steroids
A new study out of the University of Oslo has found anabolic steroid users could receive muscle building benefits for decades after they stop using banned substances, creating a problem for anti-doping agencies around the world and raising the ire of several local athletes. The study, published in the Journal of Physiology, concludes muscles build while using anabolic steroids, even for a brief period, and receive muscle growth benefits long after the drugs are absent from the system. In the study, mice were given an anabolic steroid for two weeks, which increased their muscle mass and number of nuclei in the muscle fibres. The mice then went off steroids for three months (15 per cent of a mouse’s average lifespan), and were then put on a rigorous exercise regime. The mice that had been given steroids saw their muscle mass increase by 30 per cent in six days, while untreated mice showed insignificant muscle growth during that time. Scientists believe muscle memory is at play, and an increased number of nuclei in the muscle cells are retained. According to study co-author Professor Kristian Gundersen, there is an accumulation of nuclei when the mice build muscles while on anabolic steroids, and these nuclei seem to promote muscle mass gain long after the drug use. He said similar events in humans are likely, as mammals share similar biological mechanisms. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) athlete committee chair Beckie Scott said the study is a good one, but said more research is needed before WADA can discuss policy change. “WADA is aware of the Oslo study. It’s very sound science. But it is important, when deciding to increase sanctions and put policies in place, to look at a broad spectrum. This study was done on muscles in mice. There is no conclusive evidence it can translate to humans,” Scott said. “We’re studying it further, but not taking action at this time.” WADA will follow the results and is interested in funding future studies, Scott said, as the work is in line with the group’s mandate. It’s long been suspected drug users receive long-term benefits, and on Jan. 1, WADA will increase the length of bans on serious drug cheats from two to four years. Accidental dopers will have more leeway. http://www.rmoutlook.com/article/20141023/RMO1101/310239989/-1/RMO11/wada-monitoring-research-on-long-term-effects-of-steroids