USA Weightlifting, US Anti Doping Agency to Implement Phase 2 of DBS Testing

July 11, 2019, 3:07 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 11, 2019) -- USA Weightlifting will again be partnering with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to continue the fight for clean sport at the upcoming Nike USA Weightlifting American Open Series 2, powered by Rogue Fitness, in Albuquerque this July 25 to 28, 2019.

Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing will be deployed in the same method used at the 2018 American Open Series 3 in Las Vegas. Using TAP™, the world’s first push-button blood collection device, the DBS pilot program will make it possible to gather more athlete samples while also greatly reducing the human and financial resources required to conduct tests. DBS testing also allows greater ease storing samples for future re-analysis.
This pilot program, together with existing allocations of blood and urine testing, shows the commitment of both USA Weightlifting and USADA to provide a fair platform to athletes.
Athletes will be selected for DBS testing in the same manner as those who are selected by USADA for urine and blood testing after the completing of the competition session. Some athletes may experience DBS testing and traditional urine and/or blood testing methods during one test session. Athletes have a right to refuse to be sampled as part of this new pilot program, but should note that that USADA reserves the right to allocate to the athlete a blood or urine test.
The pilot program is the latest in a series of steps that USADA and USA Weightlifting have employed to ensure a fair playing field including the provision of Anti-Doping Education to all members of USA Weightlifting, and partnering with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to ensure education is received on the international scale.


               Athlete Q&A on Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Testing


USA Weightlifting and USADA are pleased to introduce an innovative and less invasive blood collection method, known as Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing, as part of our ongoing effort to fight doping. DBS testing is being introduced through a pilot program to evaluate its use as an additional testing method. The method is safe and virtually painless thanks to a new device called the TAP.

At the American Open Series 2, all USAW members are subject to DBS testing. In preparation for your DBS testing experience, here are some helpful answers to questions about the new collection method. You can also find a step-by-step guide demonstrating the collection process. 


What is Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Testing?

DBS testing is another method, like traditional urine and blood testing, designed to detect and deter the use of substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. DBS is also being investigated as a collection method that can measure important biomarkers that may be indicative of doping.

Moreover, DBS testing makes it easier to transport blood samples to WADA-accredited laboratories, and provides additional sample stability in storage for future analysis.


What is the TAP and how does it work?

The TAP is a new FDA-approved blood collection device that is positioned on the surface of an athlete’s upper arm or other limb. With the push of a button, the blood sample is collected from the surface of the skin and securely stored within the device. The collection process typically takes less than five minutes and can be completed by your DCO.


Will the device leave a mark or cause any side effects?

The device collects about 20 timeslessblood than normally collected in a single vial during venipuncture. There are no known health implications or side effects associated with the TAP.

At most, the TAP device will leave a small ring where it was applied to the athlete’s arm. The new collection process should be quick and virtually pain-free.


Will this method replace the current intravenous (venipuncture) collection method?

DBS testing will become an additional blood collection method, and traditional venipuncture collections will continue to be used. Occasionally, athletes will experience both collection methods during one test session. This should not impact performance because the TAP collects just five drops of blood.


Why is USADA introducing DBS testing?

DBS provides USADA with greater ability to detect and deter doping by allowing for more frequent blood collections and improved sample transportation. More samples can also be stored for future analyses.

Where will the samples be analyzed?

DBS samples will be analyzed at independent, WADA-accredited laboratories in the United States or abroad.


When will results be reported to athletes?

During the pilot period, DBS testing results may not be reported within the standard six to eight-week timeframe. Normal reporting times for traditional blood collection will not be affected.


What else will USADA do with my sample?

Samples can be stored and selected for analysis at any time over the course of 10 years.