A step-by-step guide to urine sample collection.
Step 1: Notification of Selection for a Urine Test
The process of notification and reporting to Doping Control are the same for blood and urine tests.
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) or a Chaperone using an official Doping Control Form.
On notification of a test you will be asked to provide photographic identification.
Wherever possible UK Anti-Doping will conduct tests with no-advance notice. This means no warning will be given of the test.
Athletes must stay in full view of the DCO or Chaperone until after the sample has been securely sealed - this ensures that there is no possibility of the sample being tampered with.
Athletes are entitled and encouraged to nominate a representative to accompany them through the doping control process. Prior to any competition it is advisable to inform that representative of their role and the procedure should they be required.
An athlete is required to report to the Doping Control Station as soon as they have been notified. However, the DCO or Chaperone will consider any reasonable request to complete one of the following activities before Sample Collection, provided that the athlete can be continuously chaperoned and kept under direct observation during the activity.
An athlete may request a delay in reporting to the Doping Control Station in order to:
- warm down
- participate in an award/medal ceremony
- compete in further competitions
- fulfil media commitments
- obtain photo identification
- obtain necessary medical treatment
- locate an interpreter/representative
- any other reasonable circumstance as determined by the DCO/Chaperone
An athlete may request a delay in reporting to the Doping Control Station/equivalent in order to:
- locate a representative and/or interpreter
- complete a training session
- obtain photo identification
- obtain necessary medical treatment
- any other reasonable circumstance as determined by the Chaperone/DCO
UKAD may modify the notification procedures under special circumstances. For example, special notification procedures may be applied for athletes under the age of 18, those with an impairment, or those unable to speak English.
Athletes selected for testing will be expected to provide a sample regardless of any immediate commitments such as catching a train or flight or attending another appointment. When planning schedules around an event or training session and when completing Whereabouts information, athletes should bear in mind that they may be called for testing and should allow time in their diary for doping control.
After notification, athletes will be given a copy of the notification section of the Doping Control Form which details their rights and responsibilities during the Doping Control procedure.
Step 2: Reporting for Sample Collection
Athletes are required to report to the Doping Control Station immediately.
Sealed drinks may be made available in the Doping Control Station by your NGB, IF or event organiser. Athletes that choose to consume other drinks do so at their own risk.
Athletes selected for a urine test should avoid excessive rehydration, bearing in mind the requirement to produce a sample that meets the Specific Gravity requirements for analysis.
Step 3: Selecting Sample Collection Vessels
Athletes will be asked to select a sealed sample collection vessel, and should check that it is empty, clean and the seal is intact. If in doubt ask the representative to assist, or choose another sample collection vessel.
The sample collection vessel should be kept in sight of the DCO and the athlete (or athlete representative) at all times throughout the entire procedure.
The sample collection equipment used in other countries may vary slightly but should follow the International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
Step 4: Urine Sample Provision
The DCO or Witnessing Chaperone observing sample provision must be of the same gender as the athlete providing the sample.
The athlete must retain control of the sample collection equipment; the DCO should not handle the equipment unless requested to do so by the athlete.
The only persons other than the athlete and the DCO that may be present during the sample provision (without directly observing the passing of the sample) are restricted to:
- a representative for an athlete who is a minor
- a second observer for a DCO collecting a sample from a minor
- a representative for an athlete with an impairment
- a UKAD or WADA Observer
Before providing the sample the athlete will be asked to either wear gloves or wash and dry their hands.
The athlete will be asked to remove enough clothing so that the DCO can directly observe the passing of the urine from the body into the collection vessel. This is necessary to avoid any possibility or suggestion of manipulation.
As much urine as possible should be passed (at least 90mls) into the vessel unless otherwise advised by the DCO.
If the DCO is concerned about the integrity of the sample or the behaviour of the athlete, an additional sample will be requested. Athletes must comply with this request or they could be liable for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
If an athlete is unable to provide the required volume of urine, the sample will be considered a partial sample. The partial sample will be sealed in a secure, tamper evident sample collection vessel and stored until the required amount can be given. Athletes have the right to observe the partial sample and be satisfied with the storage arrangements. Each time a sample is provided, a new sample collection vessel must be used.
Selecting Sample Collection Equipment
Athletes will be offered a choice of sealed sample collection equipment (which includes A Sample and B Sample bottles), and should check they have not been tampered with.
Dividing and Sealing the Sample
Athletes will divide the sample between the A Sample and B Sample bottles, and then tightly fasten the bottles. The bottles will then need to be sealed in plastic bags and placed into the storage box.
Testing the Suitability of the Sample
The DCO will check the Specific Gravity of the sample from urine remaining in the sample collection vessel. This is to ensure it is suitable for analysis. If the sample falls outside the required range for Specific Gravity, the DCO will record this on the Doping Control Form and will request additional samples to be provided until one is given that is within the required range for Specific Gravity, or until the DCO determines that, due to exceptional circumstances, the session should end.
Step 5: Recording and Certifying the Information for Urine Samples
The DCO will record the A Sample and B Sample bottle numbers on the sample collection form and invite the athlete to check the information is correct.
The athlete name should not be on any documentation going to the laboratory.
At this point the athlete will be invited to:
- declare any substances or medication taken during the past seven days
- include any comments they have on their experience on the Doping Control Form
- confirm if they give consent for their sample to be used in anonymous research
There is no obligation to make a declaration, but it may be helpful in explaining an adverse analytical or atypical finding.
The athlete will be invited (and athlete representative if present) to check the sample collection 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
The DCO will check and sign the form and will give a copy to the athlete.
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: Consenting to Anti-Doping Research
If an athlete consents to their sample being used for anti-doping research, their samples will be anonymised to both the laboratory and UK Anti-Doping ensuring research results cannot be traced back to individual athletes. Samples will not be analysed for substances that are not prohibited on the WADA Prohibited List unless the athlete has provided consent on the Doping Control Form for their sample to be used for anti-doping research.