Testing, or doping control, remains one the primary tools for deterring and detecting doping in sport, through the collection of urine or blood samples for analysis.  Athletes can be tested anywhere and anytime, in or out-of-competition, without any advance notice.  All athletes may be subject to testing, not just those included in a testing pool (Athlete Whereabouts programme).  


Athletes may be subject to testing under the authority or jurisdiction of different anti-doping organisations including:

  • National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs)
  • International Federations (IFs)
  • Major Event Organisations (MEOs)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has testing authority as both an International Federation (for a number of World Para sports) and a Major Event Organisation (e.g. the Paralympic Games).  The IPC generally conducts between 1500 and 2000 tests each year. 


Read the summary and watch the For Clean True Sport video below to learn about the doping control process.  

Notification & Chaperoning


A Doping Control Officer (DCO) or chaperone will notify you that you are selected for testing and explain your rights and responsibilities.  Once notified, you must stay within sight of the DCO/Chaperone until the testing process is complete.  You can ask for a representative such as a coach or interpreter to support and assist you. 

Reporting to the Doping Control Station


You must report to the Doping Control Station (DCS) as soon as practical after notification – unless you have a valid reason for delay.   Reasons to delay reporting include for example, attending a medal ceremony, performing a warm down or collecting identification.

You can relax and rehydrate in the DCS, until you’re ready to provide a sample.  Take care not to drink too much – if your sample is too dilute, you will need to provide another sample.

Sample Collection


When you’re ready to provide a sample, you will be asked to choose a collection beaker.  Check that there is no damage to the beaker you select.  A DCO or chaperone, the same gender as you, will accompany you to bathroom or toilet.  You may be asked to adjust your clothing or posture so that he/she can witness the urine leaving your body.

Minor athletes (under-18) can request that their representative observe the DCO/Chaperone while he/she is witnessing the sample provision.


Athletes with a disability may require assistance from a representative to provide a urine sample.  The athlete must first authorise any representative to assist him or her – and the type of assistance provided must also be approved in consultation with the DCO.

Any modifications to the sample collection process will be recorded on the Doping Control Form.

NOTE: If an athlete requires additional urine collection equipment in order to provide a urine sample, it is his or her responsibility to have the necessary equipment ready and available.  Without this equipment, if the athlete is unable to provide a sample, he/she could face anti-doping rule violation proceedings for failing to comply.  Seek advice from a nurse, doctor or occupational therapist if you are unsure what equipment might be required.


The blood testing process is similar to urine.  A qualified professional (phlebotomist) will collect your blood sample.  You will be required to sit quietly for a minimum of 10 minutes before the sample is collected.  Depending on the type of blood test, you may be required to rest for 2 hours after competing or training. 

If you’re afraid of needles, tell the blood collection officer so he/she can help you through the process. 

Sealing the Sample


The DCO will instruct you to choose a kit and check that it is sealed, intact and the numbers match.  You will divide your sample between the A and B bottles and seal them.  Only you can touch your samples until they are securely sealed in the bottles – unless you require assistance to do this.

The minimum volume of urine required is 90mls.  If you can’t provide 90mls on your first attempt, this is a partial sample.  Your sample will be sealed temporarily until you provide further samples to meet the required volume.

The DCO will also check the dilution of your final sample.  If your sample is too dilute, you will be asked to provide another sample.

Completing the Documentation


The DCO will complete the Doping Control Form (DCF) with you.  If a paperless system is used your DCF will be completed electronically.  It’s important to check that all the details on the form are correct before you sign it to confirm the testing process was appropriate. 

You will be asked to declare any medication or supplements you have taken within the last 7 days and if you consent to your sample being used (anonymously) for research purposes.

If you have any concerns about the process, you can write a comment directly on the Doping Control Form.  If you’re not comfortable doing this at the time, you should contact your NPC without delay to raise your concerns.


Sample Analysis & Results


Your samples will be shipped to a WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis.  The results of the analysis will be sent to the IPC (or the responsible anti-doping organisation) and to WADA.

  • If your sample tests negative no further action is required.
  • If your sample tests positive, this is called an adverse analytical finding (AAF).  It means a prohibited substance has been detected in your sample.  In this case, the IPC will contact you through your NPC with more information. 

Your sample can be stored for up to 10 years during which time it may be reanalysed.


PlayTrue2020 was a legacy project for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, led by the Government of Japan and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA). PlayTrue2020 initiated a range of sport values projects associated with the Games, including the Real Champion Education Package that includes a short animation, a poster and a leaflet to explain the doping control procedure.   

The 'For Clean True Sport' animated video provides an overview of the doping control process:


Athletes have rights and responsibilities when they are subject to doping control.  These are summarised below, or click here for a more detailed PDF version.

Athlete Rights

Athletes have a right to:

  • Request a representative and an interpreter (if available and required) accompany them for support and assistance
  • Request a delay in reporting to the Doping Control Station for a valid reason
  • Ask questions or request additional information about the sample collection process
  • Request modifications to the sample collection process (if the athlete is a minor or an athlete with a disability)
  • Provide any additional equipment necessary to provide a sample (such as a catheter or collection vessel)

Athlete Responsibilities

Athletes have a responsibility to:

  • Remain within sight of the Doping Control Officer or Chaperone at all times following notification
  • Comply with the doping control process
  • Report to the Doping Control Station immediately, unless there is a valid reason to delay
  • Produce appropriate identification such as an event accreditation or a valid passport