(Testosterone + Epitestosterone)
4-androstene-3-one, 17beta-ol + Epitestosterone
Molecular Weight (Testosterone): 288.43
Molecular Weight (Epitestosterone): 288.42
Formula (Testosterone): C19 H28 O2
Formula (Epitestosterone): C19 H28 O2
Melting Point (Testosterone): 155
Melting Point (Epitestosterone): 155
Effective Dose (Men): 25-100mgs/day
Active life: 24 hours
Detection Time: Not Detectable
Anabolic: Androgenic ratio: 100:100
The Cream is the slang name given by Victor Conte to a transdermal designer steroid, containing testosterone and epitestosterone, designed by BALCO to avoid detection on drug tests. While testosterone is certainly an anabolic steroid, epitestosterone is simply an inactive epimer of the parent hormone hormone. The reason the latter would be included in the cream along with testosterone is to beat doping tests based on the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio.
Roughly 50% of epitestosterone production in human males is from the testes (1), the rest being produced via other pathways (2). In general a 1:1 ratio is a normal testosterone:epitestosterone ratio. Both testosterone as well as epitestosterone (3) are able to be tested for on a doping control test.
All good so far, right?
Alright, well, when you use exogenous testosterone, you screw up that ratio I was just talking about. So a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 means your testosterone levels (as compared with your epitestosterone levels) are on the high side. If this ratio gets too high, it is a red flag on a doping test, and a pretty good indicator that someone is breaking the rules. The Tour de France considers a 4:1 ratio a failing level, while the NFL had considered a 6:1 ratio to be failing (as does the IOC).
Honestly, most people would pass a doping test if they were only using small amounts of injectable testosterone suspension on a daily basis. But you can use far more of the cream than you would ever be able to use of a typical testosterone based drug, and still test clean. I would suspect that up to 100mgs every day or every other day could easily be used, and still result in a clean blood test. This would be more than enough (for example) to provide an edge to an athlete attempting to shave milliseconds off their 100m sprint time, or even set a lifetime homerun record (*cough cough*). In practical terms, it will provide all of the advantages of testosterone without any of the detectability.
So as you probably guessed, the cream is really only something that would be of value to drug tested athletes. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield all reportedly used the cream, and received a very nice ergogenic boost from it. A cream like this would be very useful for any athlete attempting to boost their recovery ability, muscle mass, and strength levels, without getting caught. For the recreational bodybuilder, and those not subject to blood tests of the athletic variety, its a waste of money. Its not going to produce extremely high testosterone levels unless you are virtually bathing in the stuff, and its certainly not going to provide levels high enough to be considered on par with 2-3mls a week of a decently dosed testosterone injection.
If youre not going to be tested, why take a product that is only designed to provide an advantage to those attempting to beat a drug test. One of my friends has likened this to flying a stealth bomber over a country that doesnt have radar.
Obviously you arent going to find the cream (the BALCO version) available anywhere on the Black Market, but if you are a drug tested athlete and can get your hands on something similar, its going to be pretty expensive.
1. Secretion by the human testis of epitestosterone, The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 1993 Feb;44(2):171-7.
2. Characterization of 17α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity (17α-HSD) and its involvement in the biosynthesis of epitestosterone, BMC Biochemistry 2005, 6:12, 14 July 2005.
3. Detection of Epitestosterone Doping by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry, Clinical Chemistry, 2002;48:629-636.