What happens during a blood test?

The steps in the collection of blood are similar to the collection of urine samples.  

If you’ve been asked to provide both a blood and a urine sample, then your blood sample can be taken either before or after you’ve provided a urine sample.

All blood samples are taken by qualified professionals who are trained phlebotomists.  If you’re afraid of needles let the blood collection officer know so that they can help you through the process.

Here’s what happens in a blood collection process:

  • Notification

A doping control official will let you know that you’ve been selected for testing.  The official will be wearing identification and will explain your rights and responsibilities.  You will then be asked to show some official ID and to sign a notification form.  

  • Reporting

Once you’ve been notified that you’ve been selected for testing, you must remain in direct sight of the doping control official.  You can ask for a support person (parent, coach, friend) to accompany you.

  • Choose a collection vessel

When you are ready to provide a sample, the doping control official will ask you to select a sealed venipuncture kit and sample security kit (blood collection kit).  This contains all the equipment necessary to take blood and seal your sample.

  • Rest

You will be required to rest for a minimum of ten minutes.  If you’re tested in-competition or after you’ve completed training, you may need to rest for up to two hours.

  • Blood collection

The blood collection officer will apply a tourniquet around your upper arm (if necessary) and clean the skin.  The officer will insert the syringe into your vein and draw enough blood to fill either one or two tubes.

  • Sealing the kits

The blood collection officer will place the tubes in a special tamper evident bottle, known as a Bereg bottle.  You will be asked to seal the bottles containing the tubes of blood.

  • Complete the paperwork

You will be asked to check the numbers on the Bereg bottle(s) are recorded correctly on the doping control form.  You will be asked to fill in details on the doping control form, including information about any medications, supplements or substances you have recently taken. 

You can also note any comments or concerns you have about the doping control process on the form. You then sign the form and the sample collection procedure is finished.

  • Transfer samples to the lab

The sealed samples will be transported to a WADA accredited laboratory for analysis.  Samples are always contained in securely sealed bags and every step of the process is fully documented.  

The laboratory will receive a copy of the doping control form, but it will not have your name or identification details on it.