Drug Testing Story

I had a somewhat humorous circumstance happen last week. As some of you know, The Stanford Athletic Department has a huge endowment, and there is a group of very successful people who manage that endowment through various financial means to grow the fund and kickoff revenue for the operating budget (millions of dollars per year). They had one of their semi-annual meetings recently, and asked me and another Olympian to come in at the end of the meeting so we could go through a quick Q and A session.

We had practice at 3:45 like usual, and I had to be there by 5 pm to go give my talk. I was planning on walking out of practice at around 4:30, giving me enough time to shower and get over there, but at 4:15, drug testers showed up. Of all the days, and I had to provide a sample and there was no way that I could do it in 15 minutes (the paperwork alone takes that long, and I had just gone to the bathroom). I called the coordinator of the event and asked her if she wanted me to be late or whatnot, but she said to bring them with me. At this point, I didn't have a choice, the rules are very clear, once you have been 'randomly selected' for a surprise testing, they can't leave until you do. I downed about a gallon of water, and hurried on over there to wait, and wait, and wait. The meeting went about 30 minutes late before I even went up there, and by this time 1- I could have got the test done with plenty of time to spare, and 2- I really had to pee. Meanwhile, the testers were very patient with the whole situation, and the MC of the night used it as an icebreaker to get everyone to laugh. It all ended up OK, i'm just surprised that I have been tested so many times since the Olympics (twice now). I figured they might have backed off afterward, but I guess not.

In case you didn't know, drug testing is a major part of international competing, as of course it has a huge influence on the Games and gets a lot of media attention. Canada is very strict about its policies, and so I am required to fill out a 'whereabouts' form for every day of the year. I am required to provide my schedule, addresses, times during the day I will be at different places, hotel information, and a one-hour time slot where I am guaranteed to be at a place of my choosing. I have to do this every three months. You can edit it all online, but still, I have no idea if I might plan a last minute trip out of town for the weekend or something (not that I ever had a chance before the Olympics). It is crazy, if the drug testers show up when you aren't there during your guaranteed 1-hour, then it is a strike, and 3 strikes is an automatic failed drug test and 2 year ban from competition. Pretty intense. Those are the rules, but they aren't followed quite that stringently, because that is too extreme. Last year, I forgot to update my whereabouts and the drug testers showed up at Stanford when I was actually in Iran. oops.

Anyway, it's a part of the lifestyle so it actually isn't that bad.
OK, hope all is well,
Matt

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