Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Toxicology In

-Nancy had 3 drugs in her system: Moriset, Hydromorphone, Xanax. All at therapeutic level. Not at toxic level. .184 blood alcohol level. Decomposition of body makes it hard to say if this was caused by drinking or it had occurred after he died.

-Daniel had Xanax, at a relatively high level. Not a drug you would usually give to a child. Makes them think he was sedated prior to his murder.

-Chris had Xanax within therapeutic range. Only steroid he had in his blood was testosterone, which indicated he had been using testosterone shortly before he died. No other steroids in his urine. His epitestosterone/testosterone ratio was 59 (WWE testing makes over a 10 an automatic failure).

-No GHB in any of the three.

-Doctor doesn't believe these findings reflect anything about the crime.


Anonymous Phil said...

I think WWE will be ecstatic with this result. It puts to bed the roid rage argument, and doesn't provide the media with any of the lazy, easy answers that they seek.
Of course, it has nothing to do with the real issue which is wrestlers dying young, but then again nothing about this story had anything to do with that story. Since the media has no interest in the latter story aside from the fact that they could tie it in with the former more sexier story, expect coverage of this to wane big time.
This was a home run for WWE as the media heat, though certainly not the real problem, is going to cease.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I'm not so sure the WWE is going to end up happy. Like so many news stories, the raw facts are out there but the interpretation hasn't settled in just yet.

For one thing, testosterone IS an anabolic steroid. That fact alone seems to be causing a lot of confusion, as various media sources are making claims ranging from he had only testosterone and no steroids to he had both testosterone and steroids in him.

I also don't think it's clear what kind of steroids were found in his house. Was it testosterone or something else? The (somewhat false) steroid/testosterone distinction may be leading to unnecessary confusion and statements such as even though many steroids were found in his house he had no steroids in his system, just elevated testosterone. If the steroids found in his house were testosterone, then mystery solved.

That testosterone:epitestosterone ratio (Todd has it backwards) of 59 is THROUGH THE ROOF. For some reason the media is reporting that it is "10 times" the normal ratio. Well, no, not really, a typical normal ratio is 1:1, although some men have 4:1, 6:1, or even in rare cases 10:1 naturally. Note that 4:1 is an automatic trigger for a medical explanation being necessary on the WWE's tests and 10:1 is an automatic failure.

Some sports organizations use 6:1 as a failure, so I'm guessing that's where the media's "10 times" figure is coming from, but Benoit's ratio is a whopping 59 times that of normal, 15 times that of high-normal (and where the WWE gets suspicious), and 6 times that of about the highest natural reading you'll ever see.

I'm not a doctor, but it is my understanding when doing legitimate testosterone replacement therapy you don't see ratios anything like 59:1. And this is nothing close to a passing ratio according to WWE's tests, so it exposes them as ineffective at best.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Meltzer says the steroid that was prescribed to Benoit was testosterone cypionate.

I found this information online:

"Testosterone cypionate is [a] main injectable form of testosterone prescribed in the United States. It is a slow-acting ester with a release time between 8-10 days [...] Testosterone cypionate is typically injected anywhere between once every week to once every three weeks."

If Meltzer is correct that this is the steroid that Dr. Astin prescribed, then all this talk about "positive for testosterone but negative for steroids" is misguided and the WWE is going to have egg on their face for another ill-advise press release.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

On the other hand, here are the results:

Testosterone (urine) – 207 micrograms per liter (Level less than 150 micrograms is considered normal)

Epitestosterone (urine) – 3.5 micrograms per liter

Testosterone/Epitestosterone Ratio (T/E) – 59 (Level less than 6 is considered normal)

Again, I'm not a doctor, but it occurs to me the testosterone level is only 38% above normal. Perhaps men with low testosterone also have low epitestosterone, and perhaps epitestosterone is not normally given in such cases, and perhaps it is normal to have a really out of whack ratio. If true (and this is just speculation), then the media is totally blowing the story, but that would be about par for the course.

As I said earlier, it usually takes a while for these idiots to figure out the correct interpretation...

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

The big thing to me was that the DA and the coroner essentially shot down that there was any proof of roid rage. That pretty much kills the credibility of anyone making the argument that it was roid rage as you can't make the argument without proof.

I also see the media coverage petering out anyway as the story becomes less timely and there will be no new major developments (presumably). Can anyone actually foresee Nancy Grace doing a show on this four weeks from now?

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She will be busy covering Marcus Cor Von's absence from tonight's ECW taping.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I didn't really agree with Dave and Bryan that Finlay and Kennedy were that bad last week on the talk shows (although I didn't think they were good - I just didn't think they were embarrassing). I found McDevitt and Black to be really, really bad on Nancy Grace today on a lot of different levels. The company looked so sleazy and deceitful. It really made me disgusted to be a wrestling fan.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

My understanding (I could be wrong) is that testosterone is a steroid, but not an anabolic steroid because it is produced naturally by the body. So I think that's the distinction the doctor and the WWE are making - yeah he had really high amounts of steroids in him, but those aren't anabolic, they're "natural."

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Todd, you are wrong that testosterone is not an anabolic (growth-inducing) steroid. It is in fact one, and all anabolic steroids are variations of testosterone. Testosterone is also an androgenic steroid that causes and maintains masculine characteristics. Synthetic anabolic steroids are all derivatives of testosterone that are changed in various ways, one way typically being to minimize the androgenic effects and create more of a pure anabolic effect.

The WWE people make a distinction between synthetic steroids and natural steroids such as testosterone, but three things lessen the importance of that point. First, many bodybuilders swear by testosterone, feeling that synthetic steroids don't give them the same kick, so it is dishonest to imply that synthetic steroids are used for cheating in sports but testosterone is only used for legitimate medical reasons. Second, testosterone can be used to beat tests, since you can claim that you just happen to have high levels of it naturally. Third, from the very little I have read, I'm not sure testosterone cypionate would be considered non-synthetic. One site I looked at showed it having a slightly different chemical structure.

I thought the WWE reps were also atrocious on Nancy Grace, but Dr. Black did claim exactly what I speculated on earlier in the comments here: When your natural testosterone is very low, so is your epitestosterone. If you take testosterone as part of hormonal replacement therapy, that raises your testosterone levels without raising your epitestosterone levels, causing the ratio to be out of whack and completely meaningless. He said the ratio can approach infinity in cases where there is almost no natural testosterone and epitestosterone.

I was disappointed that Meltzer just repeated that he had "10 times" the amount of a normal person, which I believe he was basing on the T/E ratio, and didn't address the possibility that the T/E ratio may mean nothing here. Dr. Black may have been on the show to defend the WWE's drug policy, but he is also a respected professional in this field, so while he may do some spinning I am a bit skeptical he would potentially tarnish his reputation by completely making up the T/E ratio stuff. I'd suggest that Meltzer and others get a handle on this issue before continuing to claim Benoit's level was very high.

And not to sound like a complete WWE shill here, but I think it's also possible that the 38% elevated level Benoit had may not mean much. When your body is producing it, it can adjust the levels continuously. When your body has failed and you have to inject it, I think you'd probably shoot for the correct average level, but the levels would be elevated after the injection and depressed right before the next injection. Again, just speculating here.

Before people think I'm a total shill, I will point out that if Benoit was not walking around juiced to the gills, then we still have a big mystery about why he was being prescribed ten times the expected dosage.

Also, for all we know Benoit WAS typically juiced to the gills and just happened to be off right around the time of the murders...

They seemed to be hinting that blood toxicology reports were still coming, so maybe that will clear things up at least somewhat more.

9:23 PM  
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7:19 PM  

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