Testing FAQ

What athletes fall under Canada’s Anti-Doping Program rules?

There are five types of athletes identified for the purpose of anti-doping:

  • Athletes who are in their International Federation Registered Testing Pool (IF-RTP athletes)
  • Athletes who are in the CCES RTP as a National RTP athlete (N-RTP athletes)
  • Athletes who are in the CCES RTP as a General RTP athlete (G-RTP athletes)
  • Athletes who are NOT in an RTP but compete internationally (International athletes) – for example: athletes that compete in NorAm circuit, invitational events outside of Canada.
  • Athletes who are NOT in an RTP but compete domestically (domestic athletes) – for example: athletes who compete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA), Canada Games and Junior football.

What is the CCES Registered Testing Pool?

The CCES Registered Testing Pool (RTP) is made up of Canada’s top athletes. The pool is split into two tiers: National and General. Athletes in the CCES RTP are more likely to be tested, and have more stringent requirements under the CADP.

The CCES RTP is made up mostly of athletes who compete at a national and/or international level, athletes who compete in a sport with a higher doping risk, and athletes who receive funding from Sport Canada.

Who does the CCES test?

The CCES has the authority to test:

  • Any athlete who is a member of a national sport organization (NSO) or multi-sport organization (MSO) who has signed onto Canada’s Anti-Doping Program (CADP).
  • Any athlete participating in a competition sanctioned by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) or NSO.
  • Any international athlete who is present in Canada.
  • Any athlete who has given his/her consent to testing by CCES or who has submitted a whereabouts filing to CCES or an International Federation (IF) within the previous 12 months.
  • Any athlete who has been named by the COC or a NSO/MSO to an international team or who is included in the CCES Registered Testing Pool or is competing in a qualifying event to represent the COC or NSO/MSO in international competition.
  • Any Canadian athlete or international athlete present in Canada who is serving a period of ineligibility on account of an anti-doping rules violation and who has not given prior notice of retirement from all sanctioned competitions to the applicable NSO/MSO and/or CCES, or the applicable foreign anti-doping agency or foreign sports association.
  • Any athlete funded by Sport Canada.
  • Any athlete whose anti-doping authority has contracted the CCES to conduct testing.

CCES does testing for International Federations (IFs), other national anti-doping organizations (NADOs) and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

What type of sample collection does the CCES conduct?

CCES does both urine and blood sample collection. Sample collection procedure may include one or both procedures.

What exactly happens during sample collection procedure?

These days, almost all doping control is conducted with no advance notice. This means that athletes can be notified at any time and any place that they must provide a sample – either urine, blood or both. A doping control officer will inform the athlete of his or her rights and responsibilities and guide them through the entire process.

During competitions, athletes who are selected for doping control will be asked to report to a doping control station. Once they have been notified, a chaperone will accompany them everywhere. Athletes may delay their arrival at the doping control station if they need to, for example, finish their cool-down or attend a medal ceremony, but they will be accompanied by a chaperone the entire time.

Whether in-competition or out-of-competition, athletes will be asked to provide a urine and/or blood sample. For urine samples, they will be required to wash their hands or wear gloves, and then pass a sample under the observation of a chaperone.

Once they have provided a sample that meets the requirements for analysis, the doping control officer will guide them through packaging of their sample and the completion of the necessary documents.

During this process athletes may be accompanied by a representative.

What type of tests does the CCES conduct?

CCES conducts in-competition (IC) and out-of-competition (OOC) tests. In-Competition testing is generally testing conducted at the conclusion of an event. Out-of-competition testing is testing of individual athletes in an out-of-competition setting with little or no advance notice of the test.

What substances and methods are prohibited at all times both in and out-of-competition?

The WADA Prohibited List identifies those prohibited substances and methods that are prohibited at all times (both in-competition and out-of-competition). The substances and methods in the following categories - anabolic agents, hormones, growth factors, and related substances, beta-2 agonists, hormone antagonists and modulators, diuretics and other masking agents, enhancement of oxygen transfer, chemical and physical manipulation, and gene doping are prohibited at all times in- and out-of-competition.

What substances and methods are prohibited in-competition?

The substances prohibited in-competition, in addition to the substances and methods prohibited in- and out-of-competition include stimulants, narcotics, cannabinoids (hashish, marijuana) glucocorticosteroids and classes of prohibited substances in certain sports (i.e., alcohol and beta-blockers).

Why are certain substances on the Prohibited List?

To be placed on WADA’s Prohibited List, a substance has to meet two of the three following criteria:

  1. Its use has potential to, or can enhance performance.
  2. Its use presents an actual or potential health risk.
  3. Its use violates the spirit of sport.

The Prohibited List takes into account the relative performance-enhancing impact of various substances, and treats steroids, hormones, some stimulants, and all prohibited methods more strictly, by enforcing a two-year mandatory suspension.

The rest of the listed substances are now called “specified substances.” It is recognized that they are more generally available in over-the-counter medications, or that they are simply less likely to be used as doping agents. Sanctions for “specified substances” may be shorter, depending on the situation, ranging from a reprimand up to the full two-year suspension for a first offence.

What laboratory does the laboratory analysis for the CCES?

The CCES sends all its blood and urine samples to the WADA-accredited INRS Laboratory in Montreal. Samples collected outside North America will be sent to an alternative WADA-accredited laboratory.

What substances do WADA-accredited laboratories test for?

WADA-accredited laboratories test for many of the the classes of substances and methods that are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition by the WADA Prohibited List.