Urine Testing

The Urine Doping Control: Step-by-step

The following text and images provide a step-by-step guide to a urine doping control procedure.

Notification and Identification

The control staff identify themselves and the athlete is informed about the notification and upcoming control. He is informed of his rights and obligations. The control staff ensure that the athlete’s identity has been established in the e.g. by means of an identity card, driving licence or accompanying third party.  By signing the doping control form, the athlete confirms that he received notification of the doping control and that he has understood the correlated rights and obligations.

In the control area

The waiting and testing areas are separate from each other. The only people allowed in the testing area are the control staff, the athlete undergoing testing and, at his request, an accompanying person, as well as WADA observers and auditors from Antidoping Switzerland. The athlete may ask for the control procedure to be explained. A urine sample may be taken in addition to a blood sample (see blood doping control procedure). The athlete may eat and drink in the waiting area but not in the testing area. In the control area, he selects a packaged urine collection container. At least three collection containers should be available to choose from. The packaging must be intact.

Providing a urine sample

When asked to provide a urine sample the athlete is accompanied by a Doping Control Officer (DCO) of the same gender. Where the facilities allow it, the athlete is instructed to wash his hands thoroughly with water (without soap) before giving the urine sample. The urine container is then unpackaged by the athlete and the packaging disposed of.

The athlete must remove his clothing from the abdomen down to the knees and roll his sleeves up to his elbows to avoid any risk of manipulation. The athlete must provide at least 90 ml of urine.

Selecting a testing kit

Back in the control room, the amount of urine collected is entered on the doping control form. The athlete must select one of the package testing kits provided. There should be at least three kits to choose from and the sealed kits should be intact. If the athlete is not happy with the selected kits, he can choose another one which is intact.

Each kit contains two bottles individually sealed in foil, one for sample A (red label) and one for sample B (blue label). The same number should appear on the kits, bottles and lids.

Filling the urine sample bottles

The foil packaging, lids and red security rings are removed from the bottles. Firstly, about 30 ml of urine is poured into bottle B, up to the lower edge of the blue label. Next, about 60 ml, is poured into bottle A with the red label. Then the rest is divided equally between both bottles. The athlete pours the urine into the bottles himself. The urine density is also tested; if it is too low, another sample must be given.

Closing the bottles

The athlete should close each bottle with the correct lid without over-exertion. A rattling sound can be heard when the lids are fully screwed in place. The lids cannot be unscrewed in the reverse direction.

The athlete then places the two bottles in the plastic bags provided (which contain the so-called liquids absorber) and seals them.

Completing the control form

The DCO enters further details, such as the bottle numbers, the date and the time the urine sample was given on the form. The laboratory receives the sample in anonymous format, i.e. only the sample numbers, date and time the urine sample was given, type of sport and the athlete’s gender and, if applicable, any medicines taken are specified. No other personal details are visible to the laboratory staff. To make the analysis process easier, it can be useful to enter any medication taken over the last seven days on the form.


The urine samples are now placed back in the corresponding packaging and sealed with security strips.

Signing the form and concluding the control

The athlete can now check that the remaining part of the doping control form has been completed correctly and in full. If the athlete wishes to make any comments or complaints, these can be recorded in writing on the form. The DCO, any accompanying persons and the athlete then sign the form and thereby confirm that the test was carried out correctly. The athlete is given a copy of the completed doping control from. This should be kept in a safe place.

Sending off the sample and analysis

The samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. Sample A is tested initially. The athlete is informed of the result of the doping control by e-mail or by letter. If a banned substance is found in sample A, the athlete has the right to demand a second analysis of sample B in his presence.

Special case: partial sample procedure

If the athlete was unable to produce the required 90 ml of urine in one go, the partial sample is stored in the container for sample B and the number for the partial sample seal is entered on the form. The athlete remains under constant supervision until the next urine sample is given. Once the athlete is able to give another urine sample, the process continues.

Once a minimum of 90 ml of urine have been obtained, the partial samples are mixed together and added to the containers (see above).