One of the stealth drugs to enhance cycling performance over the years , Synacthene (or Synacthen) will be detectable in the 2009 Tour de France. Synacthene is ACTH or Adreno-cortical stimulating hormone. The drug would stimulate the adrenal grand to pour out cortisol, a natural steroidal hormonal with multiple physiological effects.
Anecdotal evidence from cyclists using the drug say if used correctly the substance decreased last race inflammation, and improves performance; however street talk alos says that if used inappropriately the drug can decrease cycling efficiency. Who knows..there ar no scientific studies of the agent. To SBS:
The substance, a synthetic hormone also known as ACTH, has up to now proved virtually impossible to detect and evidence has been limited to allegations made by ex-users.
The new test has been perfected by specialists at the Anti-Doping Laboratory in Cologne and was tried out experimentally at German cycling events last year before being approved by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as part of its new battery of anti-doping measures.
"It is based on urine samples but can also be applied to blood samples," said Professor Mario Thevis, who developed the system.
"We prefer, however, urine because there are larger volumes and more samples available."
"Of course, Synacthene was considered relevant and important, but blood testing was not as frequent at that time and the first method was based on blood specimens," Prof Thevis said.
"Moreover, the collection and storage conditions were critical: nowadays everything is harmonised."
Experts say Synacthene has typically been used in association with anabolic steroids and testosterone, the cocktail of drugs being injected directly into a racer's body to boost resistance to pain and to enhance performance.
According to anti-doping expert Dr Jean-Pierre de Modenard, there is evidence of the drug having being used for many years - not just in cycling, but also in football.
Dr. de Modenard hopes the discovery will help fill one of the remaining gaps in knowledge relating to illegal susbtances.
"To state that only one percent of controls turn up positive is hypocritical, and this has been the perfect example of what happens when there is a lack of data," he said.