Category: Archive

How the drug test is conducted

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

A same-gender member of the testing team is present when the athlete gives the sample. The athlete places the sample into a collection container, then divides the sample into two separate bottles labeled A Sample and B Sample.

The caps are screwed on tightly and security tape is placed on top of each. The bottles are put in separate containers, usually plastic bags, which are also taped. Those two bags are placed inside another bag, again taped, which is sent via courier to an International Olympic Committee laboratory.

There are many security checks. If a tape is pulled off a bottle, it generally leaves a mark. Other tapes are broken if the inner or outer bags are opened. When a sample is opened at a laboratory, a note is made of any tampering.

The laboratory has no idea which athlete it is testing because the sample is identified by a number and not a name.

The laboratory tests the A Sample. If it finds no banned drugs or masking agents, the B Sample is discarded. If the A Sample is positive, the B Sample is later tested in the presence of the athlete or the athlete’s representative.

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