[Tuthorn:] In addition to the above mentioned sports doping application, GC- and LC-IRMS are used in criminal forensic applications. Isotope fingerprints provide insight into the origin of drugs of abuse and growing conditions, tracing explosives or confirming arson at sites of suspicious fires, as some examples. Drug abuse, drug production, trafficking and supply are a major global issue. Understanding the geographical region that narcotics come from has the potential to provide significant insight into movement of narcotics. This is possible since hydrogen and oxygen isotope fingerprints are related to local rainfall. Further applications in criminal forensics are related to identifying and tracking explosives to support counter-terrorism efforts.
By understanding the detection times of steroids we greatly improve our odds in beating a steroid test but there are also other things to consider. Steroid testing has over the years become more comprehensive, but the manufactures of anabolic hormones seem to stay a step ahead of testing, and year after year new compounds and mixtures come out that allow the athlete to beat the test; again, recall BALCO from the early to mid-2000's. While these designer steroids continue to pop up, eventually steroid testing catches up too only to find a new designer steroid has taken its place. Then of course we have performance enhancing drugs of a non-steroidal nature that are undetectable to such testing; most notably Human Growth Hormone (HGH) a peptide hormone that is undetectable. More and more athletes are now supplementing with many of these undetectable performance enhancing drugs and beating the fight against them each and every day.