Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Doping hunters stumble across a completely new anabolic steroid: 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol

Researchers at the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory have discovered a new designer steroid on the market. Capsules were confiscated by government authorities in Queensland and found to contain the eccentric anabolic steroid 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol. There are no patents or scientific articles about the substance, it has an illogical structure, but tests suggest that it works.

What is 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol?
The new designer steroid was found in red-black capsules that contained a white powder. In the powder the researchers discovered an anabolic steroid with the structural formula that is shown below. You could describe 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol as an analogue of methyl-DHT, in which the 3-oxo group has been replaced by a chlorine atom. So you can call it 3-chloro-methyl-DHT.

Doping hunters stumble across a completely new anabolic steroid: 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol
A manufacturer of designer supplements might call it Halomestanolone. Or perhaps Halomestan.

At first glance, you wouldn't expect this molecule to have a strong anabolic effect. The chlorine atom is on the large side and hampers spatial interaction between the steroid and the androgen receptor. Imagine the steroid is a hand and the androgen receptor a glove, then the chlorine atom would be a very fat finger making it difficult for the hand to fit in the glove. Nearly all known steroid molecules with a chlorine group on C3 have little anabolic effect.

But on the other hand, chlorine's electrical charge can amplify the interaction between the steroid and the receptor. Once the hand fits in the glove, then things hot up. It's not possible to predict precisely what the biological effects of steroid hormones will be by just looking at their structural formula.

Anabolic-androgenic effect
The designer steroid in the red-black capsules was not pure by the way. It consisted of 2.5 parts 3-alpha-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol and 1 part 3-beta-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol. Each capsule weighed about 345 mg, and contained 6 mg of the steroid.

The researchers tested both isomers on cells with androgen receptors. They measured the interaction with the androgen receptor and compared this with that of testosterone and DHT. The androgenic effect of testosterone has a value of 1 in the figure below.

Doping hunters stumble across a completely new anabolic steroid: 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol

On the basis of these findings, the researchers conclude that 3-alpha-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol is the active ingredient, and that the biological effect of 3-beta-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol is minimal. The anabolic effect of 3-alpha-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol is comparable to that of testosterone.

New steroid
We haven't been able to find any information on 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol in any scientific journals, textbooks or patents. We would seem therefore to be looking at a completely new anabolic steroid. Which means we also have no idea about the safety of this component.

We haven't been able to trace any sales points for the new steroid on the web. That means that 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol isn't being marketed as a designer supplement and is therefore within reach of everyone who can afford to pay twenty bucks or so. That would suggest that 3-chloro-17-alpha-methyl-5-alpha-androstan-17-beta-ol is pretty exclusive, and that it's perhaps being produced for athletes who have to take doping tests.

Current doping tests don't pick up the new steroid. The Australians' research will make it possible to alter the tests so they can do so.

Drug Testing and Analysis 23 Jun 2015 DOI: 10.1002/dta.1832.

Designer steroids by kitchen chemistry 11.09.2008