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Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor I in a Sydney Olympic gold medallist
  1. D Armanini1,
  2. D Faggian2,
  3. C Scaroni1,
  4. M Plebani2
  1. 1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Endocrinology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
  2. 2Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Padua
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Armanini, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, and Endocrinology, Via Ospedale 105, 35100 Padua, Italy;


An Italian athlete who won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games was studied. She was accused of doping after the finding of high levels of plasma growth hormone (GH) before the Games. She was studied firstly under stressed and then under unstressed conditions. In the first study, GH was measured every 20 minutes for one hour; it was above the normal range in all blood samples, whereas insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) was normal. In the second study, GH progressively returned to accepted normal levels; IGF-I was again normal. It was concluded that the normal range for GH in athletes must be reconsidered for doping purposes, because athletes are subject to stress and thus to wide variations in GH levels.

  • growth hormone
  • insulin-like growth factor I
  • gold medallist
  • Olympic Games
  • doping
  • GH, growth hormone
  • IGF-I, insulin-like growth factor I
  • IGFBP-3, IGF binding protein 3

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