So what you are saying is a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio is not rare? I think you are misguided.
Even the article that you cited says it is rare, less than 3% in a sample of ATHLETES and the VAST majority of those who had an elevated ratio where from streghth related sports.
A small percentage of athletes, which is a VERY small representation of the general population, tested higher than normal. That is rare I would say!
No. Sorry for the confusion. In the beginning, HaVoK asserted that 2:1 T:E ratios were impossible without exogenous steroids, and then you agreeded with MikeHawk that they were possible but you also added rare. That's (the 2:1 ratio) what I was referring to as not being rare. I realize I mentioned both 4:1 and 3:1 ratios, so I guess that was a mistake, but I've never seen a study even use 2:1. 3:1 was the lowest. I guess we'd have to define rare to say if 3:1 and 4:1 ratios fit that description. But I certainly wouldn't say 2:1 is rare. I also feel I should clarify something first.
Athletes may be a small portion of the population, but I haven't seen evidence that their T:E ratio is a different from the normal population. By far the biggest determinant of a urinary T:E ratio is the presence of certain enzymes that act as catalysts in a reaction that allows T or E to change into T or E glucuronide. That is more water soluable, so it gets excreted in urine.
There are a bunch of genes that make these enzymes, mutations in those genes are common and can limit the production of those enzymes, and each enzyme affects the reactions of T and E at different rates.
So if you've got two good copies of the gene that makes the enzyme that works by far the best with T, your T:E ratio is going to be way higher than someone with two bad copies of the gene, regardless of how much T you're actually making.
For example in a study of 74 Korean men and 122 Swedish men (neither was a group of athletes) the average Swede had a testosterone level 25% higher than the Koreans. But two thirds of the Koreans had two bad copies of this gene, compared to less than 10% of the Swedes. So the average Swede's testosterone glucuronide in his urine was over 16 times that of the average Korean, despite their actual testosterone only being 25% higher.
Table of androgens in urine for the participants
The study is pretty dry, but as you can see on the table, the average Swede's T:E ratio was 1.8:1 with 25th and 75th percentiles of 1:1 and 2.6:1.