Compared to blood and urine, hair samples are most suitable for long-term detection, given that the substances of interest are incorporated into the hair.
The analytical method for detection of anabolic substances in hair is part of the accredited procedures of the IDAS, and includes numerous of anabolic agents. These substances are abused to enhanced muscle growth and performance.
Hair analysis is suitable in cases of a defined suspicion on anabolic abuse, and in fields associated with a higher risk of manipulation, e.g. in horse breeding and import of sport horses. Furthermore, hair samples could be of advantage to gain additional information following a positive doping result in sports, as well as to investigate forensic cases.
To analyse hair samples, two different procedures are available:
Anabolics bound to the pigment melanin in hair are covered in procedure 1 (stanozolol, clenbuterol). The majority of the analyzed anabolic steroids is not bound to melanin, and detected using procedure 2 (e.g. boldenone, trenbolone, nandrolone, testosterone and their long-lasting derivates).
Depending on the length of the hair strand, a period of up to 6 months before the date of collection can be retrospectively analyzed (procedure 2). Some substances are detectable even longer (procedure 1).
Analysis of horse hair samples
Mane and tail hairs are suitable for analyses; please follow our instructions for sampling (Sampling - horse hair).
The hair specimen can be processed in one single length segment. To increase detection sensitivity, the analysis of several hair segments is recommended. To estimate the retrospective period, an estimated average growth rate (mane and tail hair about 2 cm per month) has to be taken into account. To cover a period of 6 months before sampling, usually 2 segments of 6 cm length each are prepared, i.e. a total length of 12 cm.
For sending samples, please use the order form regarding hair analysis (Order Form - horse hair).
Analysis of human hair samples
The preferred collection site of head hair is the vertex posterior area (Sampling - human hair).
In case of a sufficient hair length, analysis of several segments of the hair strand is advantageous. According to an average hair growth of 1 cm per month, the period of exposure could be estimated by segmental analysis.
Samples should be sent accompanied by our order form (Order Form - human hair).
We are allowed to analyze hair samples on behalf of authorized institutions (e.g. horse breeding and sports associations, forensic institutes and police authorities).
Please forward your request on hair analyses via the contact form.
Special note: Scandinavian trotters
Orders on hair analyses from owners and trainers should be operated via the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA, Uppsala, Sweden). To send hair samples to our laboratory, please contact your national trotting association or SVA (http://www.sva.se).