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Keep Rugby Clean e-learning
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Learn about doping in Rugby and the importance of staying clean. Our educational resource will show you all you need to know.

• About IRB Keep Rugby Clean • Ambassadors • Doping Control Procedures • Player Whereabouts • Therapeutic Use Exemptions • Prohibited substances • Dietary supplements • Consequences of doping

Doping Control Procedures

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Doping Control plays an essential part in promoting and protecting doping free Rugby. Testing worldwide is conducted in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and applicable International Standards.

Testing may take place at anytime, anywhere. The following is a guide to the Urine Sample Collection process and although slight variations may exist depending on the Anti-Doping Organisation, the principles are the same and will not affect the integrity of the process.

Urine sample collection




Selection of Collection Vessel


Provision of Sample


Volume of Urine


Selection of Sample Collection Kit


Splitting the Sample


Sealing the Sample


Measuring Specific Gravity




Laboratory Analysis



1. Notification

You can be selected for testing either at random or targeted. A Doping Control official will notify you that you have been selected for Doping Control showing you their identification and authority to test. They will inform you of your rights and responsibilities, ask you to sign a Doping Control form confirming your acceptance to complete the test and will then escort you to the Doping Control Station.

A failure to comply with the request to provide a Sample may be considered an anti-doping rule violation and may result in a sanction of four years.

You are entitled to have a representative and/or interpreter accompany you to the Doping Control Station. If you are a Minor you are strongly advised to bring a representative with you.

You should report to the Doping Control Station as soon as possible however you may request a delay to complete any of the following activities whilst remaining in direct view of a Doping Control official and within one hour of being notified:

  1. Attend a victory ceremony;
  2. Fulfil media commitments;
  3. Perform a warm-down or take an ice bath;
  4. Be medically assessed and receive any necessary medical attention;
  5. Attend a post-match team meeting in the team change room;
  6. Change out of your playing uniform;
  7. Locate a representative and/or interpreter;
  8. Obtain relevant identification;
  9. Complete a training session if selected for out of competition testing;
  10. Any other exceptional circumstances which may be justified and which shall be documented.

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2. Selection of Collection Vessel

You will be provided with a choice of individually sealed collection vessels in which to provide your Sample. After making your selection check the collection vessel has not been tampered with and is clean inside.

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3. Provision of Sample

You are required to provide a Sample in direct view of a Doping Control official of the same gender. This means you should remove items of clothing from your knees to your midriff and from your hands to your elbows to provide an unobstructed view of the Sample leaving your body. You should also wash your hands prior to and after providing your Sample.

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4. Volume of Urine


The minimum volume of urine required is 90ml. However, you should provide more if possible. If you provide less than 90ml it will be treated as a Partial Sample, temporarily sealed, documented and stored by the Doping Control Officer (DCO) until you are ready to provide a further Sample which will be added to your Partial Sample to meet the minimum volume.

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5. Selection of Sample Collection Kit

Once you have provided 90ml you will be asked to choose a tamperproof Sample collection kit in which to seal your Sample. Check the kit has not been tampered with, open the kit, remove the A and B bottles and verify that the numbers on the bottles are identical.

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6. Splitting the Sample

The DCO will instruct you to pour the correct amount of urine into the B bottle and then the A bottle. You will be asked to leave a small amount of urine in the collection vessel.

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7. Sealing the Sample

The bottles can now be sealed. The DCO should verify that both bottles have been sealed correctly.

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8. Measuring Specific Gravity

The residual urine left in your collection vessel will be measured for specific gravity to ensure the quality of the Sample is suitable for analysis. If the Sample does not meet the minimum requirements, i.e., it is too dilute, you may be asked to provide additional Samples.

It is therefore very important that you do not over hydrate before you provide your Sample.

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9. Paperwork

The Doping Control form must be completed, checked and signed by you, the DCO and any representative you have with you. You should declare any medications you have taken in the last seven days and can make any comments you have about the Doping Control process. You will receive a copy of the Doping Control form which completes the process.

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10. Laboratory Analysis

Your Sample is then sent to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Accredited Laboratory for analysis. A section of the Doping Control form containing only your Sample details will accompany your Sample to the laboratory. The laboratory will report the results to the relevant authorities.

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11. Sanctions

If you are sanctioned for a positive test you will not be allowed to train with a team, play, coach or administer the Game of Rugby while under sanction. The decision of your positive test may also be published in a public environment.

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Blood sample collection

The process for blood collection follows much of the same principles as those for the collection of urine however the drawing of blood is carried out by a trained Phlebotomist or Blood Collection Official (BCO).

Doping Control can involve the collection of blood only, urine only, or both.

The notification process of your selection for blood testing is the same as it is for urine. Reporting to the Doping Control Station and your rights and responsibilities are also the same.

In general the blood collection procedure is as follows:

  1. You will be asked to rest for a period of time before the drawing of blood starts, usually 10 minutes.
  2. You will be asked to select a blood collection kit containing all the necessary equipment for blood collection. The equipment typically includes a sterile needle, syringe, and the relevant vacutainer tubes for collecting your sample.
  3. You will also be asked to select a sample sealing kit in which your blood sample will be secured and transported to the laboratory. As always you should check the equipment thoroughly to be sure it is clean and has not been tampered with.
  4. The BCO will assess the most suitable site to draw blood (usually on your non dominant arm), apply a tourniquet if necessary, and clean the skin at the puncture site.
  5. The BCO will then draw the necessary volume of blood filling a minimum of two tubes.
  6. The amount of blood collected in each tube is up to a maximum of 5ml which is approximately 1 teaspoon.
  7. If the BCO is unable to find a vein after three attempts to insert the needle, the blood collection will be cancelled.
  8. Once the blood has been drawn, the tubes can then be sealed in tamperproof bottles ready for transport.
  9. The DCO will record the relevant sample code numbers on the Doping Control form and complete the remainder of the process with you.
  10. If you are also required to provide a urine sample this can be completed before or after blood collection depending on when you are ready to provide a urine sample.
  11. Your sample will then be transported to a WADA accredited laboratory for analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why collect blood?

The analysis of blood can detect prohibited substances and methods that cannot be detected in urine.

What if I’m afraid of needles?

The BCO is experienced and trained to make the process as easy and painless as possible. If you are prone to fainting or are scared of needles it is recommended you bring a representative with you.

When can I resume physical activity?

The volume of blood is very small so should not prevent you from exercising, however it is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity using the arm from which the blood was drawn for at least 30 minutes after sample collection to minimise bruising.

What if I refuse to provide a sample?

There is no acceptable reason to refuse to provide a sample or complete the process once you have been notified. World Rugby’s Anti-Doping Regulations clearly state that blood samples can be collected from Players. A failure to comply with the request to provide a Sample is an anti-doping rule violation which may result in a sanction of 4 years.

Where can I find more information on blood collection procedures?

See blood collection guidelines at Schedule 1, Section 25 of World Rugby Anti-Doping Regulations: English | Français | Español

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