Analysis methods, laboratories

According to the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), an athlete can be shown to have violated the anti-doping provisions:

  • when a prohibited substance is detected in the urine or blood sample;
  • when the athlete uses or attempts to use a prohibited substance or method;
  • when the athlete tampers with or attempts to tamper with a doping sample.

    An athlete's urine or blood can be tested for the presence of a prohibited substance in one of the thirty WADA-accredited laboratories throughout the world. 

    Athletes have the following rights when doping samples are analysed:

    • they must be informed of the result;
    • if sample A tests positive, they can demand an analysis of sample B within a set time period;
    • they can be present when sample B is opened and analysed;
    • they may be accompanied by a specialist of their choice if and when sample B is analysed in the laboratory.

    Indirect proof (Athlete Biological Passport)

    Besides demonstrating directly in urine or blood that doping has taken place, it can also be proven indirectly. This is done by collecting particular data on a person over a long period of time in a biological passport, in order to show inconsistencies in the biological profile arising from the taking of prohibited substances.

    Athletes who dope may also be caught and sanctioned as the result of other investigations, e.g. raids, confiscation or witness statements on «use or attempted use».


    More information about the different analytical procedures used to test urine and blood samples for prohibited doping substances can be found in the «Analytics» module in the mobile lesson:


    Both in and out of competition, athletes are required to provide urine and/or blood samples. These samples are tested for prohibited substances in special anti-doping laboratories using a variety of analytical methods.