Beta-agonists are substances frequently used for the treatment of asthma. These drugs are most frequently administered by inhalation of aerosol, powder or nebulised solution. Besides the main pharmacological effect, at higher doses, side effects of the use of these products result in anabolic action. Hence, beta-2-agonists might be misused for their stimulating effect on respiration and growth promoting action when administered in higher doses. As a result, WADA has prohibited the use of these drugs in sports. Exceptions are
formoterol, salbutamol, fenoterol, salmeterol and terbutaline which can be used by athletes if a proper medical justification (TUE) is issued. Although this group of medication is frequently declared by athletes on the doping control forms these substances are not always detected. In addition, no minimum required performance levels (MRPL) for laboratories have been presently issued by WADA. Information about the excretion of beta-2-agonists in urine after the use by different administration routes could result in the
establishment of MRPL levels based upon scientific evidence. Therefore this project will focus on the administration of different beta-2-agonists by different administration routes. In this project 5 beta-2-agonists will be administered (i.e. salbutamol, formoterol, fenoterol, salmeterol and terbutaline) of which 2 of them will be administered both by inhalation and orally. All these studies will be conducted following a strict research protocol as approved by an ethical committee. As the supposed outcome of this research is a MRPL level, the first step of this project is to develop and validate quantitative analytical methods for all administered beta-2-agonists (except salbutamol for which these methods already exist).