Drugs in sport: New designer drug uncovered

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The Independent Online

The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced the discovery of a second designer steroid in the wake of the ongoing THG scandal which ensnared the likes of Dwain Chambers.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced the discovery of a second designer steroid in the wake of the ongoing THG scandal which ensnared the likes of Dwain Chambers.

Canadian customs officers seized bottles of various substances at the Canada-US border last summer.

After a test had been developed, scientists discovered another previously undetectable substance called desoxy-methyl-testosterone (DMT) - a drug which WADA believes has been created specifically for use by athletes.

WADA scientific director Olivier Rabin said: "This is the second designer steroid we have found. This proves THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) was not a one-off.

"We believe this was created purely for doping in sport."

The new steroid was developed in a laboratory and would have a similar effect to testosterone, increasing strength, muscle bulk and stamina.

Worryingly, DMT appears to be several generations ahead of THG, the discovery of which in 2003 sparked a Federal inquiry into the San Francisco laboratory, BALCO, which has been accused of being the source of THG.

Christine Ayotte, director of the Montreal laboratory which identified the new substance, said: "In this case, whoever made this drug had access to serious organic chemists. It is at a level of sophistication that we have not seen before."

Ayotte said re-tests of stored urine samples taken in recent months showed no trace of the drug and she believes it was caught before it went into general circulation.

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