Sample Collection Process

The Sample Collection Process

Sample CollectionSample collection, more popularly known as “drug testing”, is an essential part of doping control and is used to detect the use of a prohibited substance or method by an athlete. It includes the collection of urine, blood or both and can be conducted in-competition or out-of-competition.

For a brief video of the doping control process, click the link below

The Doping Control Process

Sample Collection Procedure

Athlete Selection
Once an athlete is selected, it is up to the Doping Control Officer (DCO) to carry out the doping control plan set out by JADCO. The Doping Control Officer’s responsibility is to ensure that sample collection occurs in strict accordance with the International Standard for Testing and Investigations while protecting the rights of the athlete.

Athlete Notification
A JADCO certified DCO or an accompanying Chaperone is responsible for notifying the athlete who is selected for doping control. At this time, the athlete will also be informed of his/her rights and responsibilities and will be required to sign the Notification Form.  Once the athlete is notified, he/she must remain in direct observation of the DCO or Chaperone until the DCO is satisfied that the sample collection procedure is complete.

Athletes need to be informed that a refusal or failure to comply with doping control procedures, without sufficient cause, may constitute an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

Reporting to the Doping Control Station
Once an athlete is notified, he/she must report to the doping control station immediately. However, the athlete may request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for any of the following reasons:

  • Competing in further competitions
  • Participation in a victory ceremony
  • Fulfilment of media commitments
  • Performing a warm down
  • Obtaining necessary medical treatments
  • Locating a representative and/or interpreter
  • Obtaining photo identification
  • Completing a training session

Permission may be granted by the DCO or Chaperone only if the athlete is able to be accompanied at all times.

The Samples

Urine Sample
When the athlete is ready to provide a sample, he/she selects an individually sealed collection vessel. The athlete is responsible for retaining control of the collection vessel at all times until the sample is sealed. In the washroom, the athlete washes his/her hands with water and then rinses them. The athlete provides a urine sample of at least 90 ml in the presence of a DCO or Chaperone of the same sex. To ensure the DCO or Chaperone has an unobstructed view of the passing of the sample; the athlete must disrobe from mid-torso to mid-thigh.

Blood Sample
The athlete will be asked to remain seated and relaxed for at least 10 minutes before undergoing venipuncture. Similar to the urine collection, the athlete will be asked to select the blood collection equipment to be used for the session from a number of available kits (including Berlinger blood kit, Vacutainer blood tubes, needles, etc.). They must also inspect the equipment and verify the sample code numbers. The Blood Collection Officer will ask for the athlete’s non-dominant arm, apply a tourniquet to the upper arm, and clean the skin at the puncture site. Once this is complete, the blood collection officer will draw blood from the athlete and fill each Vacutainer blood tube with the required volume of blood. At the completion of the blood draw, the Vacutainer tubes will be placed into the Berlinger A and B bottles.

Kit Selection, Packaging and Paperwork
During this phase of sample collection, the representative may participate in the process as designated by the athlete.

Pre-packaged Kit Selection
The athlete selects a pre-packaged kit which is used to contain, identify and secure the sample (‘Berlinger kits’). If the athlete and the DCO are not satisfied with the pre-packaged kit, the athlete can select a different kit.

Recording of the Sample Code Number
The athlete opens the kit and removes the contents from the cardboard or styrofoam box. The athlete and the DCO verify that the sample code numbers on the bottles, on their lids and on the cardboard or styrofoam box are consistent. The DCO records the sample code number on the doping control form.

Sealing the Sample
For urine, the athlete pours at least the minimum volume of urine into the “A” and “B” bottles, and seals the bottles by tightening the lids as directed by the DCO. The athlete inverts the bottles to ensure there is no leakage. For blood, the athlete seals the bottles by tightening the lids as directed by the DCO.

Checking Specific Gravity (urine only)
The DCO tests the specific gravity of the athlete's urine sample to confirm it satisfies laboratory ranges. If the reading is outside the specified ranges, the athlete will be required to provide an additional sample.

Recording of Substances
The DCO will ask the athlete to declare any prescription or non-prescription medications, nutritional supplements and any other substances taken within the past 7 days. Also, the athlete needs to declare any blood transfusions received within the past 3 months. This information is recorded on the doping control form and will be used by the laboratory for analytical purposes.

Completing the Paperwork
The athlete reviews the form to ensure that the recorded information is accurate and complete. The athlete signs the doping control form declaring that he/she is satisfied with how the procedures were carried out. If the athlete is not satisfied with the doping control procedures used for the sample collection, he/she may provide comments on the doping control form. The athlete receives copies of the Notification Form and Doping Control Form, and should retain them for a minimum of six weeks in the event of an adverse analytical finding.

The athlete's sample is packed and sealed into a transport bag or transport box, which is sent by secure chain of custody to a WADA-accredited laboratory. Upon delivery, the laboratory will verify that the sample has been securely transported and that the contents match the enclosed documentation. The “A” sample is analysed and the “B” sample is securely stored.

Notification of Test Results
RTP athletes who use ADAMS can find out the results of their tests online. The result will usually be updated within a few weeks of the sample collection. If the athlete's sample produces an adverse analytical finding, also known as a positive test, he/she will typically be notified within three to four weeks of the date of sample collection.

Testing Minors

JADCO considers all athletes under the age of 18 as minors.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Rules (JADCO rules) stipulates the conditions for testing minors, stating that:
"Testing under these Anti-Doping Rules may only be conducted on a minor, where a person with legal responsibility for that minor has given prior consent. The giving of such prior consent shall be a condition precedent to the participation of that minor in sport, unless the rules of the relevant National Sports Federation provide otherwise”.

Athletes who are minors MUST be accompanied by a representative throughout the entire sample collection session. The representative however will not witness the passing of the urine sample unless requested by the minor.

The objective is to ensure that the DCO/Chaperone is observing the sample provision correctly.

The role of the athlete representative will be:

•    To supervise the DCO/Chaperone who is witnessing the sample provision (without directly observing the sample provision), or
•    To be in the sample provision area and directly witness the sample being provided along with the DCO/Chaperone, if requested by the athlete.

If a minor declines to have his/her representative present during the sample collection procedure, the DCO/Chaperone can appoint a representative to observe the DCO/Chaperone when the minor is passing the urine sample, but not to directly observe the passing of the urine sample, unless requested to do so by the minor.

If a minor being tested is in JADCO’s Registered Testing Pool, the preferred venue for all out-of-competition testing is a location where the presence of an adult is most likely, e.g. training venue or at his/her place of residence.

Athletes with Impairments

Athletes with impairments can discuss the need for modification to the sample collection process with the DCO. The DCO may make modifications to the sample collection process to meet the needs of athletes with physical or intellectual impairments as long as the integrity of the process is not compromised.