How much weight to put on testosterone testing for Floyd Landis?
Art DeVany has a nice discussion on the testosterone testing issues involving Floyd Landis, the Tour de France winner.
UPDATE: Landis failed the backup test, but the points raised by DeVany are even more important to read now. If Art is correct, the statements about Landis can only be viewed as a very cruel mistake.
UPDATE 2: Here is another take from the WSJ:
Besides a taste for the bottle, these five men have something in common: The day after drinking, their urine showed an elevated "T/E ratio" of testosterone to epitestosterone, hormones that occur naturally in the body.
For Mr. Landis, the test result was bad news: It may cost him the Tour de France title, as the elevated ratio is indicative of the use of banned performance-enhancing substances that raise testosterone levels. On the other hand, that Swedish night on the town -- part of a body of research on alcohol's effect on testosterone levels -- might help him clear his name.
Testosterone and epitestosterone generally are in balance in the body, but some athletes inject steroids or other substances to artificially raise their testosterone levels, which can help long-term muscle building. (Though it generally takes more than a single day for any muscle-building effect to appear.) The day after his drunken night, Mr. Landis's T/E ratio was found to be 11-to-1, well above the 4-to-1 limit set by international cycling. But athletes' testosterone levels vary widely; for example, a test1 of saliva in Canadian university students this year found an eight-fold range of the hormone. If Mr. Landis's T/E ratio is normally toward the high end, a night of drinking could have raised it dramatically, putting him above cycling's limit. . . .