Serum androgen levels and their relation to performance in track and field: mass spectrometry results from 2127 observations in male and female elite athletes

  title={Serum androgen levels and their relation to performance in track and field: mass spectrometry results from 2127 observations in male and female elite athletes},
  author={St{\'e}phane Bermon and Pierre-Yves Garnier},
  journal={British Journal of Sports Medicine},
  pages={1309 - 1314}
Objective To describe and characterise serum androgen levels and to study their possible influence on athletic performance in male and female elite athletes. [] Key Method To test the influence of serum androgen levels on performance, male and female athletes were classified in tertiles according to their free testosterone (fT) concentration and the best competition results achieved in the highest and lowest fT tertiles were then compared.

Correction: Serum androgen levels and their relation to performance in track and field: mass spectrometry results from 2127 observations in male and female elite athletes

  • Education
    British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • 2021
This erratum aims to clarify persisting questions raised by independent statisticians regarding the lack of evidence for causality in three articles exploring the correlation between serum androgen concentrations and levels of performance in a number of physical tests or athletics competitive events, in elite female athletes.

Why do endocrine profiles in elite athletes differ between sports?

It is unclear whether the differences in hormone profiles between sports is a reason why they become elite athletes in that sport or is a consequence of the arduous processes involved and this may well be true for endocrine profiles.

Is testosterone responsible for athletic success in female athletes?

The data suggest that the measurement of the serum T levels significantly correlates with athletic success in sprinters but not other types of athletes and in the future may be useful in the prediction of sprinting ability.

Circulating Testosterone as the Hormonal Basis of Sex Differences in Athletic Performance

Based on the nonoverlapping, bimodal distribution of circulating testosterone concentration (measured by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry)—and making an allowance for women with mild hyperandrogenism, notably women with polycystic ovary syndrome)—the appropriate eligibility criterion for female athletic events should be a circulating testosterone of <5.0 nmol/L.

The Role of Androgens for Body Composition and Physical Performance in Women

The results support a significant role of endogenous androgens for athletic performance in women and it has been demonstrated that women with mild hyperandrogenism like polycystic ovary syndrome are overrepresented in elite athletes.

Serum androgen levels are positively correlated with athletic performance and competition results in elite female athletes

The exploratory evidence presented in the study is strong, and correction for multiplicity may be too conservative, but it is very unlikely that all these findings are caused by chance.

Female hyperandrogenism and elite sport

Emerging evidence indicates that testosterone, which can increase muscle mass and strength, stimulates erythropoiesis, promotes competitive behaviour, and enhances the physical performance of women.

Hyperandrogenic athletes: performance differences in elite-standard 200m and 800m finals

The present study indicates that the percentage difference in performance between women with and women without hyper androgenism does not reach the 3% difference requested by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the reinstatement of the Hyperandrogenism Regulations, neither does it reach the 10% accepted range of difference inperformance between men and women.



Serum androgen levels in elite female athletes.

This is the first study to establish normative serum androgens values in elite female athletes, while taking into account the possible influence of menstrual status, oral contraceptive use, type of athletic event, and ethnicity.

Androgens and athletic performance of elite female athletes

  • S. Bermon
  • Biology
    Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity
  • 2017
Results obtained from recent neuropsychological studies indicated that testosterone, and not the sex chromosomes, is responsible for the sexual differentiation of visuospatial neural activation, which could explain how males and hyperandrogenic females benefit from androgens performance-enhancing effects in sports where visuosphere abilities are closely linked to better performance.


  • M. Stone
  • Education
    Journal of strength and conditioning research
  • 2006
A significant positive relationship was identified between testosterone levels and vertical jump performance when all data where considered, and women's jumping ability was significantly different between women and men athletes.

Age-specific reference ranges for serum testosterone and androstenedione concentrations in women measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

This is the first study to establish age-specific reference ranges for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-measured TT and AD and calculated free T concentrations based on quantile regression analyses, accurately accounting for the observed low concentration range and the strong age dependency of these sex hormones in women.

Circulating Androgens in Women

The exercise-induced changes in androgen concentrations are visited and it is suggested that those changes have significant impact on female physiology and physical performance.

Former Abusers of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids Exhibit Decreased Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadal Symptoms Years after Cessation: A Case-Control Study

Ex-AAS abusers exhibited significantly lower plasma testosterone levels and higher frequencies of symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism than healthy control participants years after AAS cessation, indicative of impaired spermatogenesis.

Serum and urinary markers of exogenous testosterone administration

Doping in sport and exercise: anabolic, ergogenic, health and clinical issues

This review will outline the anabolic, ergogenic and health impacts of selected doping agents and methods that may be used in both the sporting and physique development contexts and provides a brief tabulated overview of the history of doping.

Predictive accuracy and sources of variability in calculated free testosterone estimates

If FT measurements are requested and direct measurement impractical, cFT formulae using TT and SHBG immunoassays provide an approximation to direct FT measurement that is strongly dependent on the TT, c FT formula used and, to a lesser extent, SHBG Immunoassay.

Effects of endurance exercise on the reproductive system of men: The “exercise-hypogonadal male condition”

  • A. Hackney
  • Biology
    Journal of endocrinological investigation
  • 2008
The exercise-hypogonadal condition is limited to men who have been persistently involved in chronic endurance exercise training for an extended period time, and it is not a highly prevalent occurrence (although, a thorough epidemiological investigation on the topic is lacking in the literature).