Drug Testing in Sports - Tufts Medical Center Community Care (2024)

What is drug testing?

Drug testing is the process of collecting samples of your blood, urine, or saliva to check for chemicals that are either illegal or banned in a sport.

Tests may be done to check for:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol
  • Stimulants such as amphetamines, ephedra, or caffeine
  • Steroids
  • HGH (human growth hormone)

Each sports organization has a different list of substances they test for. Contact your specific league to find out the chemicals you will be tested for.

Why is this test done?

Drug testing in sports helps:

  • Prevent cheating in sports
  • Protect athletes’ health from using dangerous drugs to perform better
  • Find athletes who have substance abuse problems

Drug testing is used at many levels of sports:

  • High school
  • College
  • Olympic
  • Professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and cycling

How do I prepare for the test?

You don’t have to do anything to prepare for the test. Most drug tests are surprise tests or random tests.

What happens during the test?

You will provide a sample of your urine, blood, or saliva for tests in a lab. A testing official will be present to ensure that:

  • The proper procedure is followed.
  • The sample is yours and not someone else’s.
  • The sample isn’t tampered with.

Often officials from the sports governing body are present to observe as well.

What happens after the test?

The urine, blood, or saliva samples are sent to a lab. Test results are reported to the governing body of your sport. If drugs are not found in the test sample, the result is negative. If drugs are found, the result is positive and you may be banned or suspended from your sport. How long you are suspended depends on what drugs are found and if previous drug tests have been positive.

You can get more information from:

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Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-09-02
Last reviewed: 2014-12-08

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Drug Testing in Sports - Tufts Medical Center Community Care (2024)

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