Doping Control Research Group

Research group

Group Leader

Rosa Ventura Alemany

The Doping Control Research Group performs scientific research to contribute to the progress of doping control in sports, with the objective of ensuring doping-free sport and protecting the health of athletes. It is formed by personnel belonging to the Catalan Anti-doping Laboratory.

The research focuses on the development and improvement of analytical methods to detect the misuse of doping agents and on the study of new markers to improve the detection of substances and methods prohibited in sport. In addition, the group is working on new mass spectrometry techniques for detecting and quantifying drugs and their metabolites, and endogenous metabolites in biological fluids to study pharmacokinetics, metabolism and pharmacodynamics. The team also collaborates with other research groups in determining environmental pollutants in biological samples.

The group’s main areas of research interest are as follows:

• Metabolism of anabolic androgenic steroids (long-term metabolites).

• Detection of the administration of endogenous steroids.

• Study of the factors influencing the endogenous steroid profile.

• Discrimination of prohibited and permitted uses of glucocorticoids.

• Discrimination of prohibited and permitted used β2-agonists.

• Detection of the use of blood transfusions.

• Detection of growth hormone-releasing peptides.

• Use of dried blood spots in doping control.

Moreover, members of the Doping Control Research Group are actively involved in chemistry and toxicology training programmes for graduate and undergraduate students (Pompeu Fabra University, University of Barcelona, University of the Basque Country).




Rosa Leonor Bergés Casas (Researcher)

Sergi Coll Camenforte (PhD Student)

Argitxu Esquivel López (PhD Student)

Élida Alechaga Silva (Technician)

Maria del Rosario Álvarez García (Technician)

Laura Benítez Gracia (Technician)

Claudia Bressan (Technician)

Belén Cano Ávalos (Technician)

Susana Cuadras Navarro (Technician)

Immaculada Figuera Figuera (Technician)

Laura Fresnedo Milán (Technician)

Lorena Garrostas Carreño (Technician)

Marta Gómez Gijón (Technician)

Noemí Haro Villaverde (Technician)

Patricia Maribel Herrera Guaman (Technician)

Jolita Jancyte (Technician)

María Lázaro Miguélez (Technician)

Sonia Leal Xalma (Technician)

Xavier Matabosch Geronès (Technician)

Núria Monfort Mercader (Technician)

Montserrat Núñez Maroto (Technician)

Sergio Peña Segura (Technician)

Sílvia Petit Guiral (Technician)

Jordi Puigdemasa Pérez (Technician)

Rosalía Ramírez Llanelis (Technician)

Alicia Redón Peyró (Technician)

Lídia Requena Tutusaus (Technician)

María Pilar Sáez Hernández (Technician)

Elia Sanjuan Estaun (Technician)

Marta Vicén Morales (Technician)

Daria Navarra Alcrudo (Research Assistant)


Main Publications

• McLeod MD, Waller CC, Esquivel A, Balcells G, Ventura R, Segura J, Pozo O. A constant ion loss method for the untargeted detection of bissulfate metabolites. Anal Chem 2017; 89(3): 1602-1609. IF 6.32. D1.

• Kotronoulas A, Gómez-Gómez A, Segura J, Ventura R, Joglar J, Pozo O. Evaluation of two glucuronides resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis as markers of testosterone oral administration. J Steroid Biochem & Mol Biol 2017; 165(Pt B): 212-218. IF 4.561. Q1.

• Robles J, Marcos J, Renau N, Garrostas L, Segura J, Ventura R, Barceló B, Barceló A, Pozo O. Quantifying endogenous androgens, estrogens, pregnenolone and progesterone metabolites in human urine by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Talanta 2017; 169: 20-29. IF 4.162. Q1.

• Pitarch-Motellón J, Roig-Navarro AF, Sancho JV, Ibáñez M, Fabregat-Cabello N, Pozo O, Ventura R, García-Alonso JI, Rodríguez-González P, González Gago A, Ereño A, van Eenoo P, Deventer K, Dehnes Y, Rzeppa S. Evaluation of uncertainty sources in the determination of testosterone in urine by calibration-based and isotope dilution quantification using ultra high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 2017; 1508: 73-80. IF 3.981. Q1.

• Balcells G, Gómez C, Garrostas L, Pozo O, Ventura R. Sulfate metabolites as alternative markers for the detection of 4-chlorometandienone misuse in doping control. Drug Test Anal 2017; 9(7): 983-993. IF 3.469. Q1.

• Balcells G, Matabosch X, Ventura R. Detection of stanozolol O- and N-sulfate metabolites and their evaluation as additional markers in doping control. Drug Test Anal 2017; 9(7): 1001-1010. IF 3.469. Q1.

• Esquivel A, Pozo O, Garrostas L, Balcells G, Gómez C, Kotronoulas A, Joglar J, Ventura R. LC-MS/MS detection of unaltered glucuronoconjugated metabolites of metandienone. Drug Test Anal 2017; 9(4): 534-544. IF 3.469. Q1.

• Ferro P, Ventura R, Pérez-Mañá C, Farré M, Segura J. Evaluation of Fibronectin 1 in one dried blood spot and in urine after rhGH treatment. Drug Test Anal 2017; 9(7): 1011-1016. IF 3.469. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Studies on intra-articular and peri-articular administrations of glucocorticoids

- World Anti-doping Agency (16C11RV)

- From 2017 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa

• Aplicación de los avances recientes en espectrometría de masas al análisis de drogas y fármacos en fluidos biológicos

- Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CTQ2015-63968-C2-2-P)

- From 2016 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa

• Improving detection of anabolic steroids: new screening based on the direct analysis of phase II metabolites using LC-Q-HRMS

- World Anti-doping Agency (15A15RV)

- From 2016 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa

• Evaluation of alternative glucocorticosteroid metabolites for the discrimination between legal and forbidden administration routes

- World Anti-doping Agency (13D22RV)

- From 2014 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa

• Effect of tea consumption on the steroid profile in healthy volunteers

- World Anti-doping Agency (13D26RV)

- From 2015 to 2017

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa

• Impact of glucocorticosteroid administration on the steroid profile

- World Anti-doping Agency (14D06RV)

- From 2014 to 2017

- Principal investigator: Ventura Alemany, Rosa


Group’s Recognitions

• Officially recognised as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya: Grup de Recerca en Control del Dopatge en l’Esport (2017-2019)

- Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 81)

- Principal investigator: Rosa Ventura Alemany

• The Group runs the Catalonian Anti-doping Laboratory, which has obtained the renewal of the following accreditations:

- World Anti-Doping Agency, performing of anti-doping analyses in athletes,

- ISO17025, performing of anti-doping and toxicology assays,

- Association of Official Racing Chemists, performing of anti-doping analyses in animals.



C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00