Science Questions

Is high testosterone an advantage in sport?

Sun, 13th Jul 2008

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Question

Pooky Amsterdam, Second Life asked:

Are there just some people who have above-average levels of testosterone and thatís what gives them the advantage?

 

Answer

We put this question to Professor Chris Cooper:

There are certainly some people whoíve claimed that.  Iím reminded of this great true story about one of the Olympic 100m sprinters who failed the test John talked about Ė too much testosterone.  In his defence he said it was his wifeís birthday so he had to have sex five times the night before and thatís why his testosterone was so high. He got off!

Chris Smith -  In more ways than one!

Chris Cooper - Yes, anyway, yes!

Chris Smith -  Is that true?

Chris Cooper - The story is true.  I think testosterone can vary depending on whether youíre having sex or not.  Not by the amount he claims.  I donít think you can use it as a performance enhancing effect.  It might not be a good idea the night before a race.

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