Steroid analysis and doping control 1960-1980: Scientific developments and personal anecdotes.

Cedric Shackleton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Definitive proof of anabolic steroid abuse in sports was not possible prior to the introduction of combined gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).This is a report of the early history (1960-1980) of GC/MS and radioimmunoassay, and how these techniques were utilized in the first years of steroid doping control in athletics. There were several key individuals and research groups involved in the early technical developments, and their essential contributions have been acknowledged. Our laboratory was the first IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations) sanctioned site to do steroid GC/MS steroid analysis resulting in athletes being disqualified from competition. We had notable successes, including the only East German female competitor ever suspended during the tenure of the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik). This paper not only covers scientific advances and milestones in the incorporation of steroid testing into international athletics, but also includes personal anecdotes of these early years before doping control became justifiably regimented. By the early 1980s, in anticipation of the Los Angeles Olympic games, dedicated year-round sports testing facilities had been established and part-time amateurs could step aside.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2008


    • Athletic doping control
    • Drug abuse
    • Anabolics
    • GC/MS


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