Blood test procedure

As a rule, blood samples are taken before urine samples. The doping control officer explains the blood collection procedure to the players so that they know what will happen in advance and that they must comply with the procedure.

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Before the sample is collected, the player is asked questions such as whether he or she has any bleeding disorder that may have an effect on clotting time or if he or she has taken medications that may affect the blood-drawing procedure (particularly those that affect clotting), e.g. aspirin, warfarin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Every player should be aware of this before any doping control is carried out.

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To ensure that the player’s performance is not affected, less than a teaspoonful of blood is taken. The player must sit for at least 20 minutes before the sample is collected, after which the FIFA doping control officer checks the player’s skin and finds an appropriate place on which to commence the process. He or she disinfects the skin with a sterile wipe or swab and, if required, apply a tourniquet. Several cannulas of blood may be taken, but the total amount will never exceed a teaspoonful. After the sample has been collected, the player and officer check together that the box has been correctly labelled and sealed. The doping control officer places the coded, sealed box containing the player’s blood sample into the transport cooling bag.

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If the player tests positive for a prohibited substance, he or she is entitled to request that the “B” sample be analysed and may attend the “B” sample opening and analysis or have a representative attend. In addition, he or she can request to see copies of the laboratory documentation.