When samples are collected for drug testing, they are placed in two separate containers. The A sample is used to conduct the initial test. If sample A returns a positive result, sample B can then be tested to verify the accuracy of the results.
Because the consequences of an anti-doping violation can be career-ending for an elite athlete, the use of A and B samples is an important safeguard. When procedures used to test the A sample are flawed, the B sample provides an athlete with a chance to clear their name.
WADA Use of B Sample Drug Testing
If a urine sample is being collected, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules state that the athlete will divide their urine into the A and B bottles while saving a residual amount of urine in the sample collection container. If a blood sample is being collected, a blood collection officer (BCO) will draw blood from the athlete using two vials that will become sample A and sample B.
After the blood or urine samples are collected, the athlete will seal the bottles before they are secured and sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory. If the A sample returns an adverse analytical finding (also known as a “positive” result), the athlete can then request testing of the B sample. A charging letter should not be issued until the B sample confirms the A sample test result.
NCAA Use of B Sample Drug Testing
At the time of sample collection, the Doping Control Officer (DCO) or their designee will split the specimen into the A sample and the B sample in the presence of the student-athlete. If sample A returns a positive result for a banned substance, Drug Free Sport will notify the director of athletics at the student-athlete’s institution that sample B will be tested. Drug Free Sport will provide options for representation at the opening of sample B.
Before the B sample can be tested, the student-athlete, student-athlete’s representative, the institution’s representative, or the lab surrogate must certify that the barcode on sample B is correct, that the security seal has not been broken, and that there is no evidence of sample tampering. Sample B findings are then final, with no additional analysis permitted.
Do You Need to Speak With an Experienced International Anti-Doping Lawyer?
When your ability to continue competing in the sport you love is at risk, Global Sports Advocates is here to help. Attorneys Paul Greene and Matthew Kaiser are leaders in the field of sports law and advocate for the rights of athletes who have been accused of anti-doping violations. Contact us online or call us directly at +1-207-747-5899 to schedule an initial one-hour consultation.