The Wall Street Journal’s Numbers Guy weighs in.

In today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal’s online edition (subscription required), Carl Bialik gives a little more insight into some of the controversy swirling around Floyd Landis these days.One item I’ve heard quite often is:

Q: How quickly does synthetic testosterone clear out of one’s system?

A: Testosterone typically is injected straight into muscle, and, depending on the dosage, it generally creates an elevated T/E ratio for a week to 10 days, according to researchers I spoke with.

That makes this form of testosterone usage an unlikely candidate to explain Mr. Landis’s positive test, since — assuming the tests were conducted properly — his elevated ratio would have shown up in one of his other tests.

Using testosterone in this form also wouldn’t be much help, as it “takes at least a week to have a physiological effect,” said Simon Davis, technical director for Mass Spec Solutions Ltd., a Wythenshawe, U.K., maker of mass-spectrometry devices. He has helped athletes defend allegations of doping.

Testosterone can also be taken orally or applied to the skin with a gel, cream or patch. These forms have several advantages: They can provide more short-term boost than injected steroids, and can also clear out of the system more quickly. Mario Thevis, professor for preventive doping research at German Sport University, said in an email that, depending on the dosage, T/E ratios could return to normal after several hours.

But the athletic benefit of such doping is unproven, said Dr. Davis. “These provide a very small amount of testosterone, and certainly would not improve performance at any significant level,” he said.

You can read the full article here. I would like to understand from Mr. Bialik more on how much cream/patch would be required and could it have helped recovery from stage  16 as opposed to winning stage 17?



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