Muscles, recovery, motivation… What is testosterone used for, the cause of Pogba’s provisional suspension?

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Paul Pogba has been provisionally suspended for testing positive for testosterone. Le Figaro

Paul Pogba was provisionally suspended on Monday by the World Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for testosterone, a hormone banned for its effects on performance and mentality.

Tested positive for testosterone, French player from Juventus Turin Paul Pogba was provisionally suspended on Monday. Hormone of male ity and fertility, it is a product banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but frequently used by athletes to improve their performance.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the male hormone par excellence, secreted 90% by the s and 10% by the adrenal glands, although women also secrete it.», Explains to AFP Antoine Faix, urologist-andrologist in Montpellier. “It is the hormone of physical, psychological, and of course tone.“.

It is part of a group of hormones called androgens.

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What is his role ?

During puberty, it allows the appearance of certain specific masculine characteristics such as the development of hair and genitals. It is necessary for the production of sperm and the appearance of libido.

In summary, it is the hormone of fertility and male ity.

But it promotes muscle development, hence its frequent use in doping athletes. This is what we call an anabolic and is due to the way in which proteins are imilated.

Why prescribe it?

If this hormone is naturally secreted by the body, it can also be administered in a “exogenous“.

Testosterone testing may be recommended in men if gland dysfunction is suspected.

Medically, it is generally prescribed when it is lacking, therefore most often to men of a certain age or to young men who have had testicular cancer, who are diabetic.», underlines Dr Faix. Much more rarely, testosterone is used as a one-time contraceptive in combination with another hormone.

What are athletes who take it looking for?

Testosterone helps produce muscle but it also accelerates muscle recovery», Tells AFP Michel Audran, professor emeritus in biophysics at the University of Montpellier, former director of the French anti-doping laboratory.

It is also a psychostimulant: it increases the athlete’s motivation and desire to succeed.

Consequently, it is “one of the products most used by athletes who do », Indicates Mr. Audran.

In order to improve sports performance, testosterone can be ingested in a capsule that is swallowed, applied with a transcutaneous gel, or quite simply, directly injected into a muscle via a syringe.

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Is this prohibited?

Testosterone is considered a doping product and prohibited by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), which categorizes it as “anabolic androgenic steroids“.

In the case of Paul Pogba, it will be necessary to determine, following his positive doping test for testosterone, whether or not it was an intentional injection.

According to Michel Audran, testosterone appears “at the top of doping products” because she is “very difficult to detect»: «it is complicated to differentiate between that produced by the body and that provided by a drug“. However, tests carried out via hair samples can indicate whether or not the use of the substance was regular, he adds.

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