The administration of growth-promoting agents such as human growth hormone as well as compounds with respective secretagogue activity is prohibited in sports according to the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Acetylcholine esterase inhibitors have been demonstrated to stimulate growth-hormone secretion in elderly humans, and new orally active drugs have been developed to provide alternatives to therapeutic injections of growth-hormone preparations. Preventive anti-doping strategies include method development for emerging drugs and potentially misused compounds. Hence, the mass spectrometric dissociation behavior of three acetylcholine esterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine) and a structural analogue to the growth-hormone secretagogue SM-130686 were studied using high-resolution/high-accuracy orbitrap mass spectrometry. These data provided substantial information for screening procedures, complementing common methods of sports drug testing. Using liquid-liquid extraction and subsequent liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) analysis, the four target analytes were determined at urinary concentrations of 15–20 ng/mL, recoveries ranged from 55–97%, and assay precisions were calculated at 5.2–15.8% (intraday) and 10.2–21.6% (interday) for all compounds. The applicability of the developed assay to authentic urine specimens was tested using two administration study urine samples after application of Reminyl (galantamine) and Aricept (donepezil). In both cases, the administered drug and the respective desmethylated metabolites were detected. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.