Detection of Stimulants and Narcotics by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry for Sports Doping Control

  • Brian D. Ahrens
  • Yulia Kucherova
  • Anthony W. ButchEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1383)


Sports drug testing laboratories are required to detect several classes of compounds that are prohibited at all times, which include anabolic agents, peptide hormones, growth factors, beta-2 agonists, hormones and metabolic modulators, and diuretics/masking agents. Other classes of compounds such as stimulants, narcotics, cannabinoids, and glucocorticoids are also prohibited, but only when an athlete is in competition. A single class of compounds can contain a large number of prohibited substances and all of the compounds should be detected by the testing procedure. Since there are almost 70 stimulants on the prohibited list it can be a challenge to develop a single screening method that will optimally detect all the compounds. We describe a combined liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) testing method for detection of all the stimulants and narcotics on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. Urine for LC-MS/MS testing does not require sample pretreatment and is a direct dilute and shoot method. Urine samples for the GC-MS method require a liquid-liquid extraction followed by derivatization with trifluoroacetic anhydride.

Key words

Liquid chromatography Gas chromatography Mass spectrometry Stimulants Narcotics Urine Doping World Anti-Doping Agency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian D. Ahrens
    • 1
  • Yulia Kucherova
    • 1
  • Anthony W. Butch
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, Department of Pathology & Laboratory MedicineDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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