Jersey City Police Department Discriminates Against Officers on TRT

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Police officers who are on medically-prescribed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be selectively targeted for steroid testing according to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The appellate court dismissed the lawsuit brought by Jersey City Police officers Nicholas Kramer, Brian McGovern and Patrick Fay against Police Chief Thomas Comey and the Jersey City Police Department.

The police officers, who were on legally-prescribed TRT, alleged that their constitutional rights were violated when they were removed from active duty pending the results of a steroid urinalysis.

Appeals Court Judge Julio Fuentes ruled that Police Chief Comey was fully justified in suspending the officers pending testing results based on his “reasonable suspicion” that “perception and judgment might be impaired by excessive steroid levels.”

An investigation into Lowen’s Pharmacy by the New York Police Department identified officers Kramer, McGovern and Fay as customers of the pharmacy. The officers obtained anabolic steroids (testosterone) for their TRT protocol from the pharmacy. The officers were never incriminated in any illegal activity or wrongdoing involving anabolic steroids.

“Chief Comey had a reasonable suspicion that the Officers’ perception and judgment might be impaired by excessive steroid levels,” according to the court opinion. “It was therefore reasonable for Chief Comey and Dr. Boylan to test the Officers for such excessive levels and to relieve them of their weapons until it was confirmed that their steroid levels were within safe limits.”

The Jersey City Police Department used the anti-doping urinalysis screen called the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio (T:E ratio) as the method of determining whether the officers’ testosterone levels were safely at therapeutic levels.

Unfortunately, the T:E ratio is solely an anti-doping test and has no role whatsoever in medicine. It is impossible to use the T:E ratio as a determinant of the amount of testosterone used by the police officers or the serum testosterone levels.

The T:E ratio is a putative indicator of exogenous testosterone usage. But all patients on TRT are, by definition, using exogenous testosterone.  TRT can easily cause an individual to fail T:E ratio test. 

The claim that Jersey City Police Department’s Dr. Edward Boylan can evaluate the urinalysis and determine fitness for duty is preposterous. Only a blood test can determine whether testosterone levels are within the normal range.

Using the T:E ratio for the purposes of determining whether police officers are “fit for duty” essentially discriminates against all officers using TRT.

In fact, the three officers who filed this lawsuit were ultimately forced to discontinue TRT as a medical treatment for their hypogonadism and/or erectile dysfunction in order to keep their jobs.

Officer Kramer attempted to continue TRT but even at a reduced dosage he, not surprisingly, still failed the T:E ratio test. He was suspended without pay for 159 days because of the unacceptable T:E ratio.

D. Gayle Loftis, an attorney for the officers, acknowledged the absurdity of applying anti-doping rules to legal and medical decisions.

“Somebody saying the word ‘steroids’ just plays right into the hysteria that pro baseball seems to have ignited,” Loftis said. “Nobody is looking beyond that or into any of this. There were no studies produced at trial because there was no trial.”

The court is clearly blinded by the steroids in sports hysteria.

 Jersey City Police Department


Porter, D. (December 23, 2011). Appeals court upholds steroid tests of Jersey City police, dismisses suit against department. Retrieved from–Police-Steroids-Tests/