Understand the process

Overview

Doping Control Officer at in-competition testing

Any athlete can be tested at any time. We understand that going through the sample collection process (also known as 'doping control') can be unnerving, especially if it's your first time. This page explains the process to help you prepare and feel more comfortable when it's your turn.

  • In-competition testing takes place either immediately after you’ve finished competing or at any time during an event, tournament, regatta or games.
  • Out-of-competition testing can take place at any time of the year and at any location, including your home, training venue, hotel or when you’re overseas.

Sample collection for testing will be carried out by a trained and accredited DFSNZ official. If you're selected for testing, your most immediate responsibility is to provide a sample and comply with the process. If you fail to do so, it may result in an anti-doping rule violation.

Preparing to experience doping control for the first time?

Our virtual reality (VR) doping control experience will take you though the process from the comfort of your living room.

Experience doping control in VR

The doping control process explained

Athlete preparing to divide urine sample between two small beakers at doping control station

Being selected

If you are selected for testing, we will do our best to make the process as painless for you as we can, while following a set process and rules that we, and you, must adhere to.

You will be notified by an official working for or on behalf of us, an International Federation, or another national anti-doping organisation. You should ask to see their identification and authorisation.

An official will let you know your rights and responsibilities. Find them in English and Te Reo Māori at Athlete rights.

Once you have been notified that you will be tested, you have a responsibility to:

  • remain in sight of the doping control officer (DCO) personnel at all times;
  • report to the doping control station as soon as possible;
  • produce valid identification at the doping control station;
  • comply with the sample collection process.

You will be accompanied to the doping control station where the DCO will explain the sample collection process to you. You can ask questions at any time.

Providing a urine sample

  • You choose a collection vessel in which to provide your urine sample
  • You provide a urine sample in the direct view of your chaperone, who is the same gender as the competition you're entered into (in-comp) or the gender held by your NSO (out-of-comp)
  • You choose a sample kit in which to seal your urine sample
  • You pour your urine sample into two sample collection bottles (A and B)
  • You seal the samples and place them in the transport box
  • You let the DCO know whether you have taken any medications or supplements recently

Providing a blood sample

  • You choose a kit for sample collection
  • You sit down and rest for ten minutes (you may need to rest for longer if you have just exercised)
  • A blood collection officer (BCO) draws blood from your arm
  • You seal the vials containing your sample
  • You let the DCO know whether you have taken any medications or supplements recently

Signing off the sample

Once your samples are sealed in tamper-evident containers, the DCO will go through the paperwork with you to ensure all the details are correct. You can also make comments about the doping control process, including any concerns that you may have. The DCO will ask you then to sign the relevant forms to complete the process.

Sample analysis and results

Your sample will be transported to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited or approved laboratory for analysis. Our samples are typically sent to the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory in Sydney. The laboratory will then notify us of the results of the analysis. In anti-doping, a negative result is a good outcome.

If your sample tests negative, you will not hear from us. No news is good news!

If your sample tests positive, we will first check whether you have an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in place to explain the positive test. You will be notified that you have returned a positive test and asked for an explanation. You will have the opportunity to request that your “B” sample is analysed.

If there is no approved TUE in place, and the “B” sample confirms the “A” sample (if tested), we will bring an allegation of an anti-doping rule violation against you before the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (or the Anti-Doping Tribunal within your sport).

Consqeuences

The consequences of breaking the rules can be wide-ranging, even if your positive test was unintentional. Your reputation could be damaged and a ban from sport could potentially end your career.

The sanctions for an ADRV can include:

  • Being banned from all sport (competing, training and coaching)
  • Disqualification of competition results
  • Publication of your anti-doping rule violation
  • Financial penalties

The starting point for a first violation is four years, which can be reduced, for example, if the violation is proved to be unintentional.

Understand the consequences of doping

Check out the videos

Illustration: Wheelchair basketball athlete and Chaperone outside door marked 'Doping Control Station'

Useful links