The testers arrive and the going gets tough
OLYMPIC DIARY:The unannounced urine test is invasive, right enough, but it has to be – it’s only stressful when you’re doing wrong, writes EOIN RHEINISCH
AFTER RETURNING from the World Cup race on Monday, Tuesday was not the type of day I had envisaged. Between drugs tests in the morning and having make up applied for a photo-shoot in the afternoon, it was a day of surprises.
The drug test lasted a lot longer than I expected. As is often the case, I had just been to the toilet before the doping control officers arrived, so they had to wait before I could give them the sample. You don’t know when they are coming so their arrival can put a very different spin on your day if you have plans.
I’ve been getting tested, I’d say, since I was 16-years-old. If you are not doing anything illegal then no it’s not a stress. It’s more of a stress if you are sitting there and you’ve organised something important. But once the testers call to the door and see you are there they cannot leave your sight until you provide the goods. If you had a job interview or something important like that, they would actually have to come with you until you provide a sample. You literally cannot leave their sight.
If I have to go and get my passport to show them my full identity they have to follow me around my house.
It’s often happened to me that you just leave the toilet and the doorbell goes and you say to yourself: “I bet I know who that is at the door, just my luck.” And yes, it is the doping testers. They could be in the house for two hours or more.
This week they arrived a little after 9am. They probably arrived earlier than that because I was coming back in the car and I saw them on the doorstep. The first part of the procedure involves a lot of form filling. There are always two people and on Tuesday there was also a blood doping officer.
I was informed it is very important that you haven’t exercised within two hours of them taking a blood sample. If I had been arriving straight in from a training session, I would have had to sit there for two hours regardless and only then could they take the blood sample. It’s something to do with the movement of blood around the body. I’m not really sure of the details but that’s what I was told.
I find the whole bloods procedure a lot easier. A lot of people are squeamish about needles but that doesn’t bother me. They take it out of your arm and it’s done. The urine sample can be a different ball game. You can drink water or tea to try and get the urge going but if you drink too much and over-hydrate, your sample will not be accepted if it is too dilute. Then you start all over again.