A step-by-step guide to blood sample collection.
Step 1: Notification Blood Collection
At an event, during training or at an Out-of-competition location athletes can be notified of selection for a test by a UK Anti-Doping Doping Control Officer (DCO); Blood Collection Officer (BCO) or a Chaperone using an official Doping Control Form. On notification of a test the athlete will be asked to provide photographic identification.
Step 2: Reporting for Sample Collection
Athletes are required to report to the Doping Control Station immediately. Dependent on the type of blood test, they may be asked to rest for a period of time prior to the collection of a sample if they have recently exercised or competed.
Step 3: Selecting Sample Collection
The athlete will be asked to select a number of blood sample collection kits and a number of blood A and B kits. Checks should be made to ensure they are empty, clean and the seal is intact.
Step 4: Providing a Blood Sample
Only a person trained in the collection of blood will be able to perform the blood collection procedure.
The BCO shall assess the most suitable vein for sample collection and clean the site. They will then unseal the hypodermic needle and attach the vacutainers (self-sealing secure containers) and withdraw blood to fill the required number of tubes. No more than three attempts will be made per session.
Sealing the Blood Sample
After withdrawing the needle the BCO or athlete will place one vaccutainer into each of the A and B sample bottles. These should be checked for any leakage.
Storing the Blood Sample
The sealed blood sample shall be kept in the Doping Control Station, at a cool but not freezing temperature, prior to dispatching for analysis.
Step 5: Recording and Certifying the Sample
The DCO will record the A Sample and B Sample tube numbers on the Doping Control Form and the athlete will be invited to check that this information is correct.
The athlete will be asked to make a number of declarations including any substances or medication taken in the past seven days and any blood transfusions in the past three months. Dependent on the type of blood test, the athlete may also be asked to answer some further questions relating to recent activities such as exercise, altitude training, on a Supplementary Report Form.
The athlete name should not be on any documentation going to the laboratory
The athlete will be invited (and athlete representative if present) to check the Doping Control Form and to sign it once satisfied that the information is correct. The athlete is the last person to sign the form, after the DCO, a representative would sign before the DCO and athlete.
Transferring the samples to the laboratory
Once the samples are placed in a security sealed transit bag they are sent to a WADA accredited laboratory, by a secure chain of custody, for analysis. This ensures that every step of the process is fully documented and only those authorised to handle the sample do so.
Along with the sample, the laboratory receives a copy of the doping control form that contains information only relevant to the analysis.
NO other information is provided that might allow the athlete to be identified.