The Frontal Cortex

Testosterone and Euphoria

I’m still puzzled over why Floyd Landis might have taken testosterone. After all, bicyclists are supposed to be svelte, and injecting yourself with a little hormone the night after a tough ride probably wouldn’t lead to increased muscle recovery in time for the next day’s race. So why do bicylists (like this guy) do it? Well, it seems that the only immediate effect testosterone has is psychological. The former cyclist Jesús Manzano put it bluntly: “Testosterone gives you a euphoria.” Lab experiments with hamsters seem to confirm this. As researchers at USC note, “Testosterone overdose resembles opiate intoxication.”


  1. #1 natural cynic
    July 31, 2006

    Several curious things about the case:

    1] Reports of the test were a ratio of 11:1 [test:epitest], with up to 4:1 being normal. What were his results after Alpe d’Huez and the other stages where he had the yellow jersey?

    2] If he took testosterone before the stage, why did he win it, knowing that he would be tested?

    3] One could easily mask the ratio by taking some epitest with the testosterone. Why didn’t he do that?

    4] Landis claims his abnormal ratio may be the result of a hypothyroid condition. It’s hard to believe that someone who is hypothyroid could perform any endurance athletic event well [symptoms include weight gain, sloowed metabolism, diminished cardiac output, loss of muscle tone].

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