Impact of ethnicity, gender, and dehydration on the urinary excretion of inhaled salbutamol with respect to doping control

Dickinson, J.; Hu, J.; Chester, N.; Loosemore, M.; Whyte, G.

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Official Journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine 24(6): 482-489


ISSN/ISBN: 1536-3724
PMID: 24518370
DOI: 10.1097/jsm.0000000000000072
Accession: 053716266

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To examine the impact of dehydration, ethnicity, and gender on urinary concentrations of salbutamol in relation to the threshold stipulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Repeated measures open-label. Eighteen male and 14 female athletes (9 white males, 9 white females, 2 Afro-Caribbean males, 2 Afro-Caribbean females, 6 Asian [Indian subcontinent] males, and 4 Asian females) were recruited. All participants were nonasthmatic. After inhalation of 800 μg or 1600 μg of salbutamol, athletes exercised in a hot controlled environment (35°C, 40% relative humidity) at a self-selected pace until a target weight loss (2% or 5%) was achieved. Urine concentration of free salbutamol. After inhalation of 1600 μg salbutamol, 20 participants presented with a urine salbutamol concentrations above the current WADA limit (1000 ng/mL) and decision limit (1200 ng/mL) resulting in an adverse analytical finding. There were no differences according to gender or ethnic origin. Dehydration equivalent to a body mass loss greater than 2% concomitant to the acute inhalation of 1600 μg of salbutamol may result in a urine concentration above the current WADA limit and decision limit leading to a positive test finding independent of gender or ethnic origin. Asthmatic athletes using salbutamol should receive clear dosing advise and education to minimize the risk of inhaling doses of salbutamol that may produce urine concentrations of salbutamol above 1200 ng/mL.