Screening Procedure for “Non Banned” Drugs

November 23, 2015
Lewis Botcherby
The Column

Volume 11, Issue 21

A new screening procedure has been developed for the detection of common “non banned” drugs used by athletes. The method targets multiple pharmacologically active compounds by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS-MS).

A new screening procedure has been developed for the detection of common “non banned” drugs used by athletes. The method targets multiple pharmacologically active compounds by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS-MS).1

The first “anti-doping list” was published in the mid-1960s and contained only substances active if taken immediately before or during competition. That list has been progressively expanded over the decades, and since 2002 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has taken over that duty. The list contains a myriad of substances from anabolic agents to hormone and metabolic modulators, which all require vigorous detection methods. 

Seven selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, four azole antifungal drugs, 19 benzodiazepine-like substances, five inhibitors of phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 4, and three inhibitors of PDE type 5 were targeted for detection in a urinary matrix. Urine samples were collected from patients currently being treated with the substances. Researchers at the Laboratorio Antidoping in Rome, Italy, used LC-ESI-MS-MS, which, once optimized, was validated according to ISO 170252 and WADA requirments.3

The targeted analytes were simultaneously identified using the newly developed LC-ESI-MS-MS procedure. The researchers believe that the application of this method can easily be included in the LC-MS-MS multi-analyte screening process currently used to detect banned compounds. This method significantly increases the information available of the (ab)use of the aforementioned classes of drugs among athletes. - L.B.

References

  1. M.Mazzarino et al., J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal117, 47-60 (2016).
  2. International Organization for Standardization, general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, ISO: 17025.
  3. World Anti Doping Agency, Identification criteria for qualitative assays incorporating column chromatography and mass spectrometry, in: WADA Technical Document TD 2010IDCR, 2010, Available: http://www.wada-ama.org.