Drug Testing

If you’re just starting out as an athlete, you probably haven’t had a drug test yet, but as you continue to develop and improve your performance it is more likely that you will be tested.

It’s a good to have some idea of what happens during testing before you reach this stage.   

The first time you’re tested it may be a little unnerving, but will be easier if you know what to expect.   

Remember you can have a support person with you and we recommend you do so, especially if you’re under 18 years-old (find out more about Drug Free Sport NZ's policy on minors here).

Your rights and responsibilities

If you’re selected for testing, you’ll be advised of your rights and responsibilities.  You’ll be offered a copy of Drug Free Sport NZ’s athlete handbook, which gives you further information about the testing process.

Throughout the doping control process you have the right to:

  • have a representative (parent, coach or friend) with you
  • have an interpreter if required
  • ask for additional information about the sample collection process
  • request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons, such as:
    • attending a medal ceremony
    • further competition commitments
    • fulfilling media commitments
    • needing medical treatment
  • request modifications if you have a disability or you’re a minor (under 18 years of age)
  • record any concerns or comments you have on the doping control form.

And you have the responsibility to:

  • report to the doping control station as soon as possible
  • remain in sight of the doping control official at all times
  • produce valid identification at doping control
  • comply with the sample collection process
  • recognise that if you eat or drink anything just prior to providing a sample that you do so at your own risk.

What happens during a drug test?

Sample collection for doping control will be carried out by a trained and accredited Drug Free Sport NZ official.  

You will be told by the official that you’ve been selected for doping control and asked to provide a urine sample, a blood sample or both.

Providing a urine sample:

  • you will choose a container in which to provide your urine sample
  • when you’re ready you will provide a sample  in front of the Drug Free Sport NZ  official (who will be the same gender as you)
  • you will have to provide a urine sample by peeing into the container in front of a doping control official
  • you pour your urine sample into two sample collection bottles (A and B)
  • you seal the samples in tamper-proof container
  • you let the Drug Free Sport NZ official know about any medications or supplements you’ve taken in the past seven days
  • you check and sign the relevant paper work and take a copy with you.

Providing a blood sample:

  • you choose a kit for sample collection
  • you sit down and rest for ten minutes
  • a trained professional draws blood from your arm
  • you seal the samples in a tamper-proof container
  • you let the doping control officer know about . any medications or supplements you’ve taken in the past seven days
  • you check and sign the relevant paper work and take a copy with you.

Your sample is then transported to an accredited laboratory for analysis.  Drug Free Sport NZ will notify you of the results in a few weeks.

As your career progresses, you are more likely to be drug tested.  You can get more information here in the Athletes Who May Be Tested section.