The testing process

Athletes can be tested, any time, any place.

We test to deter those vulnerable to a doping decision and to find those who chose to cheat by using banned substances.

Testing can take place in-competition at events, or out-of-competition, in training venues, or even at an athlete’s home.

Testing is intelligence-led and risk-based, however it will always be conducted with ‘no advanced notice’.

The sample collection process is designed to be safe, consistent, and as comfortable as possible for athlete. Here is an outline of the Testing Process for a Urine Sample;

  • Selection: an athlete is selected for doping.
  • Notification: a Chaperone or DCO will notify you to say you have been selected for testing and will show you their identification. You will be told your rights and responsibilities, asked to show your identification and then you need to sign the top part of the Doping Control Form to confirm you have been notified.
  • Reporting: you will then be chaperoned (observed at all times) as you make your way to the Doping Control Station (DCS). This is where the testing will take place. You should report immediately to the DCS unless you request a delay for a permitted reason.
  • Selecting Sample Collection Equipment: you should be given a choice of sample collection kits. Make sure the kit you select is sealed and has not been tampered with. This is important.
  • Proving a Sample: when ready, you will be asked to wash your hands or wear gloves and then to provide your sample. The DCO, who will be of the same gender as you, will directly observe you providing your sample. You will be asked to remove/lift clothing above your chest and below your knees so the DCO has an unobstructed view.
  • Splitting the Sample: you will need to provide a minimum of 90ml of urine. This may be done on more than one occasion (a partial sample) until you reach the required amount. Once you have 90ml or more, the DCO will ask you to split the sample between the A and B bottles, starting with the B bottle first. Again, you will be given a choice of A and B bottles and you should ensure these have not been tampered with. You should also check that the code on the kits matches.
  • Sealing the Sample: once your sample has been split between the A and the B bottles you will be asked to seal them. Make sure you check and recheck that the tamper-evident bottle lids are securely fastened.
  • Checking the Sample’s Concentration (Specific Gravity): for the lab to be able to analyse your sample it needs to be of a specific concentration. The DCO will test your sample to make sure it is within range. Should your sample not be in range, you may be asked to provide another sample.
  • Verifying the Sample: you will need to complete the Doping Control Form and sign it to complete the process. Don’t forget to add any medications and/or supplements you have taken within the last seven days and consider allowing your sample to be used for research purposes too. Make sure you take your copy of the Doping Control form which you should keep.

Finally, don’t forget that your samples will be sent to a WADA Accredited Lab for analysis. Your A sample will be analysed, and your B sample will be stored securely. Samples can be stored for up to 10 years.

There may be situations where you would like to delay immediately reporting to the Doping Control Station. Athletes have the right to request a delay for the following permitted reasons. Any delay granted is a decision made by the DCO or Chaperone who has notified you.

  • For an In-Competition Test you can request a delay to:
    • Participate in an medal ceremony
    • Fulfil media commitments
    • Compete in further competitions
    • Perform a warm-down
    • Obtain medical treatment
    • Locate a representative and/or interpreter
    • Obtain photo identification
    • Any other exceptional circumstances which may be justified, and which shall be documented
  • For an Out-of-Competition Test you can request a delay to:
    • Locate a representative
    • Complete a training session
    • Receive medical treatment
    • To obtain photo identification
    • Any other exceptional circumstances which may be justified, and which shall be documented

The general rule is, always undertake the test. Refusing a test can lead to a four-year ban.

It is also important that you understand your rights and responsibilities in relation to testing.

From notification for Doping Control, athletes have the right to:

  • be accompanied by a representative throughout the doping control process
  • have an interpreter present (if available) to the Doping Control Station
  • request a delay in reporting to the Doping Control Station for valid reasons (see above)
  • ask for additional information about the sample-collection process
  • request modifications (if the athlete has a disability)
  • request to view the DCO’s credentials
  • choose a collection vessel and sample collection kit
  • receive a copy of the sample collection documentation used to document the processing of the athlete’s sample
  • provide feedback on the Doping Control Form and/or a Supplementary Report Form.

Athletes have a responsibility to:

  • always remain within direct observation of the DCO/Chaperone from the point of notification by the DCO/Chaperone until the completion of the sample collection procedure
  • produce photographic identification such as competition accreditation or a driver’s licence
  • comply with sample collection procedures
  • report immediately for a test, unless there are valid reasons for a delay (see above).

What you should do

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Testing Process
  2. Always undertake the test
  3. Take a representative with you 

As an athlete under the age of 18, you are considered a minor. You may not be aware, but you can still be tested.

Much of the testing process is the same as older athletes, however modifications are made to ensure minors are safeguarded.

It is important to remember that at any point in the testing process you can ask questions to ensure you feel confident and happy with the process.

When testing minors, here are the main modifications to the process you should be aware of:

  • Minors will be notified for testing by a Doping Control Officer or Chaperone in the presence of an adult. This adult could be another DCO or a National Federation representative, coach, parent etc. If an adult is not present, notification will be paused until an adult can be present.
  • Minors are encouraged to take a representative with them if they are notified for testing. This representative can be the same adult present during the notification or a different person. The athlete will be chaperoned by the DCO and an adult to locate the representative.
  • At no point will the DCO be left alone with an unaccompanied minor following notification.
  • When an athlete is ready to provide a sample, the DCO watching the athlete provide their sample must always have an observer watching them and their conduct. This observer can be accompanied by the athlete’s representative. Only the DCO or Chaperone is to directly observe the athlete providing their sample. Neither Second Observer nor the athlete’s representative should directly observe the passing of the urine, unless requested by the athlete. 

Any athlete can be tested, any time, any place.

As a minor we need to make sure that you are always safeguarded throughout the testing process so there are some modifications to the testing process to help us do that. The main difference is that regardless if you are tested in- or out-of-competition you will always be notified in the presence of another adult.

At any time, you can ask the Doping Control Officer to explain the testing process to you, and you can also ensure that any comments you want to make are included on the Doping Control Form.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Testing Process and your rights and responsibilities
  2. Always take the test when notified and remember CyADA or the organisation testing you will also have to make sure there is an additional adult to observe parts of the process to protect you
  3. Keep your Doping Control Forms safe and secure at home

Read the information on the Testing Process (above) to familiarise yourself with the process.

Blood samples collected by CyADA may be analyzed for prohibited substances and/or methods and/or indirect biomarkers of doping that in some cases may not be detectable in urine, including, but not limited to those used in the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).

The blood collection process closely resembles the urine collection process described previously, and it is not uncommon to provide both a urine and blood sample during a sample collection session. Here are a few differences and processes to expect:

  • The blood draw will be performed by CyADA’s DCO who are qualified and certified phlebotomists acting as blood collection officer (BCO).
  • To control for blood plasma volume changes, the athlete will be asked to remain seated for at least 10 minutes prior to providing a blood sample. If the athlete has exercised within the last two hours, they will need to wait until two hours after completion of exercise before their blood sample can be collected.
  • The BCO or DCO will select an area, typically the non-dominant arm, from which to draw the blood. The amount of blood drawn, which is up to approximately two tablespoons, is unlikely to affect performance.
  • Athletes will be asked supplementary questions specific to blood collections that are important to the analysis of the sample. For example, they may be asked about their exposure to high altitudes or extreme environments, recent exercise, or blood loss.

The Athlete Biological Passport, or ABP, monitors selected biological markers in urine and blood samples over time that may indirectly reveal effects of doping on the body. The ABP allows anti-doping organizations to track individual athlete data and utilizes a mathematical model to monitor and analyze patterns and variations that may indicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. Passports that are flagged by the model as atypical are investigated by internal and external experts to establish whether the profile can be explained by normal physiology, a possible medical condition, or a prohibited method. An athlete’s ABP data can also be used to complement traditional doping control approaches, such as conducting targeted anti-doping tests on athletes with atypical, or suspicious, characteristics, providing rationale for special analyses, or to establish an anti-doping rule violation.

Testing is an important part of clean sport.

The testing process is harmonised to ensure that any athlete who is tested does so under the same processes and procedures, and that athletes’ rights are protected.

For those athletes with an impairment such as physical, visual or intellectual there are some modifications to the testing process to ensure it is accessible and suitable for all.

We recommend that all athletes take a representative with them to the Doping Control Station.

When testing athletes with an impairment, the following modifications can be applied.

If you have a visual impairment:

  • Notification and sample division will be conducted in the presence of a representative (who is not another member of Doping Control Personnel).
  • During sample provision, the DCO/Chaperone will have a second observer present to observe them and their conduct. The athlete's representative can be present in addition to the second observer at the request of the athlete but neither the second observer or representative should directly observe the sample provision unless requested to do so by the athlete.

If you have a physical impairment:

  • You will be asked if you require any assistance to provide your sample, and you must have a representative with you to sign any documentation if you are unable to do so.
  • If you are a notified for a urine test and you have a catheter or drainage system, you must provide any equipment yourself and the DCO will observe the route of drainage.
  • If you have a leg bag or are using self-catheterisation, you will be asked to use a new and preferably sealed set of equipment. If that is not possible you will be asked to fully drain your leg bag.
  • You should take a representative with you if you know you will need help with the testing process.
  • If you do not have a representative to help you then the DCO may assist. This applies to both a urine and blood tests.

If you have an intellectual impairment:

  • You must have a representative with you throughout the testing process.

To ensure that testing remains a positive experience for all athletes, they have a number of rights and responsibilities. These remain the same for all athletes, including those with an impairment.

It is important to familiarise yourself with these rights and responsibilities as well as understanding how the modifications above can support you through the testing procedure.

  • Familiarise yourself with the Testing Process and your rights and responsibilities
  • Understand that as an athlete with an impairment there are some modifications to the testing process and familiarise yourself with these
  • Always undertake the test and take a representative with you

Read the information on the Testing Process (above) to familiarise yourself with the process.