Sample collection (also known as doping control or drug testing) is an essential part of promoting and protecting doping-free sport. It is the process to detect and/or deter the use of a prohibited substance, or prohibited method, by an athlete.



Athletes must comply with a valid request by an ASADA official for testing. if they refuse to comply an athlete may face sanctions. The penalty for refusing to provide a sample upon a valid request may be the same as providing a sample that contains a prohibited substance.

Our doping control programme complies with the World Anti‑Doping Code, the International Standard for Testing and Investigation, the Australian Sports Anti‑Doping Authority Act 2006 and the Australian Sports Anti‑Doping Authority Regulations 2006 including the National Anti‑Doping (NAD) scheme, and the International Organization for Standardization 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems.

The test can be either in-competition or out-of-competition such as at an athlete’s training venue or home. Almost all of the testing is carried out with no advance notice. The test can involve the collection of urine, blood or both.


Testing pools (who can be tested)

We maintain a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and a Domestic Testing Pool (DTP) for the purposes of implementing, coordinating, administering, monitoring and enforcing effective doping control measures. If an athlete is selected to be part of the RTP or the DTP they will be informed by us or their sporting organisation.

Any athlete in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) will be required to provide whereabouts information.

Athletes in the RTP and DTP, in addition to any other athlete who meets our definition of 'Athlete' under the ASADA Act and ASADA Regulations, may be subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition sample collection.

We are unable to discuss why a particular athlete or athletes are included on the RTP or DTP, as it may affect the effectiveness of the doping control programme.

We make the final decision on who is included in the RTP and DTP, based on a number of factors.


Factors for inclusion in the RTP and DTP

Inclusion in the RTP is based on a number of factors related to the athlete and the sport. These may include:

  • physical demands of the sport and possible performance enhancing effect that doping may elicit
  • available doping analysis statistics
  • available research on doping trends
  • injury
  • withdrawal or absence from expected competition
  • going into or coming out of retirement
  • behaviour indicating doping
  • sudden major improvement in performance
  • changes in whereabouts information that can indicate a potential increase in the risk of doping, including moving to a remote location
  • athlete sport performance history
  • details of past doping controls
  • athlete reinstatement after period of ineligibility
  • reliable information from a third party
  • training periods and competition season
  • serving periods of ineligibility or provisional suspensions as consequences of Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

The DTP mostly contains athletes who are in national senior teams or squads (or the equivalent level, depending on the structure of the sport) who are not in the RTP. We are able to source the details required for doping control programmes relevant to the DTP from the national sporting organisation (NSO).

Information required for the RTP

For athletes who meet RTP criteria
Information requirements Information source
Whereabouts information Athlete
Personal contact details and initial contact details National sporting organisation (NSO)
Training, camps and competition Athlete and NSO

Information required for the DTP

For athletes in senior teams/squads (or equivalent), but are not in the RTP
Information requirements Information source
Personal contact details and initial contact details NSO
Training, camps and competitions NSO

Information on retirement and reinstatement can be found in the whereabouts section.


Athlete rights

During a sample collection athletes have the right to:

  • have a representative present
  • have an interpreter, if available
  • ask for additional information about the sample collection process
  • request modifications if the athlete has a disability
  • request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons such as:

For in-competition testing:

  • perform a warm down
  • compete in further competitions
  • fulfil media commitments
  • participate in a victory ceremony
  • obtain necessary medical treatment
  • obtain photo identification
  • locate a representative and/or interpreter
  • any other exceptional circumstances as approved by the Doping Control Officer (DCO)

For out-of-competition testing:

  • locate a representative
  • complete a training session
  • receive necessary medical treatment
  • obtain photo identification
  • any other exceptional circumstances as approved by the DCO.

The DCO may refuse any of these athlete rights if an athlete cannot be chaperoned throughout the whole process. This is important to ensure the integrity of the process is maintained. 


Athlete responsibilities

During the sample collection athletes have the responsibility to:

  • remain within direct observation of the DCO or Chaperone at all times from the point of notification by the DCO or Chaperone until the completion of the sample collection procedure
  • produce appropriate identification
  • comply with sample collection procedures
  • report immediately for a test, unless there is a valid reason for a delay.


Results management

We can store samples in our deep freeze facility for up to ten years, and retrospectively analyse the samples to detect prohibited substances and methods, and enforce sanctions against athletes.

If we are advised by the laboratory that a sample has recorded an adverse analytical finding, which is the presence or evidence of use of a substance or doping method on the WADA Prohibited List, the athlete will be notified.

If an athlete's ‘A’ sample, whether urine or blood (where an A and B sample were collected) returns an adverse analytical finding, they have the right to have the ‘B’ sample analysed to confirm the result.

If the ‘A’ sample returns an adverse analytical finding, we can test the ‘B’ sample without the athlete's consent.

We also collect urine and blood samples for athlete biological passport purposes. If following the review of an athlete’s profile we consider further investigation is required, we may contact the athlete for more information.