Jill’s House: ‘Yes, she watches me pee’ – doping control pays a visit

A technician prepares urine samples for doping tests in 2010. When you're an Olympic athlete, the demands to pee in a cup don't end when the Games are over. Sang Tan / The Associated Press File

I love sleep. I always have and probably always will. And as I mentioned in a previous blog, I have certainly learned the importance of sleep. So as a parent now, any chance to have an uninterrupted morning of Zs is more exciting than when my three-year-old actually listens to me.

On Saturday morning, I had that chance for a sleep-in with my daughter at grandma and grandpa’s. But at 6:50 a.m., my husband jumped out of bed yelling my name, running to get his housecoat and headed downstairs. I knew then that my peaceful sleep-in just slipped through my dreams. Someone was at the door looking for me. I knew exactly who it was. It was a doping control officer wanting me to pee in a cup.

I groggily came downstairs to greet the nice man, who has been to my house before looking for urine. He proceed to tell me that he had been banging on the door and ringing the bell for 20 minutes and was worried my neighbours had called the cops wondering what was going on outside my house.

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READ MORE: Jill’s House blog page

So while this nice man interrupted my morning of bliss, I will be honest and say it is my own fault.

As Olympic athletes, we are required to provide a one-hour time slot of every day that we will in fact be where we say we are listed in our personal online calendar. Given my daughter is usually up between 6 and 7 a.m., I put my one-hour time slot from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., especially for weekdays when we need to get up and out of the house.

As I went to bed on Friday night I said to my husband,“You’ll hear the doorbell if they come, right?” Although we are allowed to change our calendar, it was too late for me to do it.

READ MORE: Doping at the Olympics? Rumblings of new ‘undetectable drug’ surface

The good thing about being tested first thing in the morning is that you usually have no problem at all filling up the pee cup to the necessary level for testing. If anything, it is a struggle to wait as the doping officer fills out forms, asks you what medication and supplements you have used in the last 10 days and has you select your own package of bottles for your sample.

Once the forms are filled out, I take one of the plastic cups to the bathroom with me. I also take the female chaperone that comes with the doping officer. Her job is to actually witness the urine coming from my body and into the cup. Yes, she watches me pee. We are required to raise our shirt high enough and lower our pants low enough so there is no obstruction of the chaperone view.

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After the cup is full, we take the warm liquid back to the doping officer. I select a package of two bottles with specific numbers which we have to confirm are the same on both bottles and consistent with the paperwork.

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Because the chaperone and doping officer are not allowed to touch the sample or the bottles for fear of contamination, I am required to unpackage and package the sample myself. So I pour part of the sample in the blue bottle and part of the sample in the red bottle. I put the lids on and turn them until they lock.

At that point, the doping officer can touch the bottles and package them to send to the lab for testing. Then the two of them pack up and leave.

And I go back to bed.

Curler Jill Officer won Olympic gold for Canada with the Jennifer Jones rink in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. She writes a twice-monthly blog for

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