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Clean Sport Testing at Glasgow 2018: An Age-Group athlete experience

Published:

The Glasgow 2018 European Championships was the first time that Age-Group random drugs testing operated at an international triathlon event in Britain.

Education is at the heart of British Triathlon's clean sport strategy, with support provided to the Age-Group community through dedicated webinar sessions and 'Education in Testing Sessions' at a number of qualification events aiming to familiarise athletes with the formal process.

You can find educational Clean Sport resources on the British Triathlon website here.

Experience of a Glasgow 2018 Age-Group competitor

When did you first know you had been selected for testing?

After I crossed the finish line at Glasgow and as I was walking to the recovery area, I was approached by one of the officials who informed me that I would be drugs tested. She was very pleasant.

What was the process between finishing the race and testing?

I was escorted to the Bag drop to get my ID and my list of supplements taken over the previous week (mainly electrolyte tabs and beetroot shots, and gels during the race) which I had written down in preparation and had in my bag. I found that having a list was really helpful as I didn't have to think back and risk forgetting something. The official then took me to the Anti-doping testing room, and handed me over to the official there. 

Can you talk us through the testing process?

My ID was checked and the time was logged. I was offered bottled water (I checked the seal on the bottle). I was advised to take my time and to inform the official when I thought I would be ready to produce a urine sample. I was then taken through to a cubicle. I was offered to select a box with bottles for my two samples. I was encouraged to check the numbers and double check seals etc. (exactly as we had been briefed by the ANTI-Doping team at Nottingham earlier in the year). Then I was asked to produce a sample in front of the official who needed full view. At this stage I had to undress, and in hindsight it would have been nice to wear either a bra (I don't have one under my race suit) or a T-shirt... After producing my sample this was tested for suitability (concentration) in front of me, and I then decanted required quantities into the two bottles. After these were sealed and labelled, the official went through the form with me in detail and was very helpful. I needed to provide the name of my Coach and of my Doctor. I also needed to write down a list of all the supplements/prescribed medication taken in the last week (the prepared list was very helpful). When all was complete I was given a copy of the paperwork and was free to go.

Have you got any advice for other athletes having gone through the testing process?

An important point I noticed is that from crossing the finish line I had not had any fuelling, just water. By the time I had then collected my bike etc it had been well over two hours and I became very shaky, sweaty and dizzy. I suspect I was becoming hypoglycaemic as things improved after my husband shoved some food into my mouth. So I would urge people to have something to eat straight after coming out of testing!

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