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I was a female drug test chaperone

I’ve been in baths all over Auckland with half-naked women.

No, this is not about sex; this is about drugs. In sports. And thanks to Lance Armstrong, everyone knows about drugs in sports and drug testing, but you may not have realized that some drug tests involve urine tests. And I’ve done this for a job.

Now you’re wondering, who would want to do a job that involves watching people pee? Isn’t that a bit gross? Well, apart from the obvious answer: people who love ‘water sports’ (boom tish), are usually just sports fans or people who are desperate for funds. I fell into the latter category.

In 2001 I had moved to Auckland but still didn’t have a job, so a friend who was already working in drug testing suggested I try working as a chaperone, the person who gets together with the athlete and makes them produce the sample. . He really wanted to make some money and it just alarmed me a little to be so intimately involved with strangers. Suffice it to say that you must be very comfortable with the human body and its various functions.

Although I was told that it was quite easy, the procedures seemed innumerable and complex. One missing signature or an incorrectly completed form, and an at-fault athlete could successfully appeal. I wasn’t saving lives, but I didn’t want to get in the way. On the other hand, the low pay was not very motivating and the prospect of, say, spending a day in the back blocks of Auckland watching motocross drivers for $30 was not appealing. Still it was cash and a way out.

This is how it worked. Once the event is over and your team leader has identified the athlete to be tested, you introduce yourself as a chaperone, read them the rules, offer them a bottled drink, and let them know they have one hour to report to the station. of tests. This gave them time to relax, rehydrate, and hopefully be ready to give a sample.

After these formalities, the athlete usually ignored you and you followed him, trying not to get depressed or think about the wine, until you set about letting him know you were ready to go. Which could take hours, so: boredom.

You stood alone on the perimeter of your family and friends as the kid who didn’t make the team, feeling foolish with your clipboard and cooler full of Gatorade. (Although once I was encouraged a little by this kid who got confused and asked for my autograph).

An hour or so of wandering around, listening to people talk about the finer points of women’s hockey could be overwhelming, so by the time you got the athlete into the bathroom you weren’t even thinking about the extreme intimacy factor. I just wanted them to pee. Immediately!

When you watched an athlete pee, you had to see the pee move from your body. This was because, since the dawn of drug testing, athletes have been looking for ways around it, and one of the ways is to take a container of someone else’s urine and hide it under their clothing.

That’s why you couldn’t let them out of your sight, and also why they had to take off their underwear and roll up their sleeves while urinating. So many rules and so many situations where you couldn’t possibly follow the rules! For example, in a portaloo it was impossible to see someone peeing into a cup when you were right next to them, nose to nose. Watch? Uncomfortable.

Small talk was complicated. I’m sociable, but in these situations the conversation usually revolved around how the athlete had performed, how difficult it was to urinate on command, how it would be easier if he turned on the faucet…maybe if we kept talking. about peeing…’. At that point I was usually the only one ready to pee. Meanwhile, they squatted over the bowl and I obviously tried not to LOOK, but I had to look!

Some athletes went completely nude, and with 2001 being pre-fashion for Brazilians, I saw a lot of pubic hair. Yes, a full Brazilian was pretty amazing in 2001 because I remember the only girl whose vulva was completely naked. And that was shocking!

Yet between all the episodes of chaperoning glamorous but slightly deranged bodybuilders, or hanging out with the NZ Warriors at one of their training sessions, my first job still stands out.

Nervous about packing things up, I was told that it was already a Para shooting event, so there were athletes from all over the world with a variety of abilities. This was like having sex for the first time and expecting basic missionary but being told you’re expected to do reverse cowgirl with a twist!

had questions What to do if the athlete had a catheter and a bag? Can I let them just pour the contents into the plastic cup? Or did I have to force them to put the bag back on and pee again? There seemed to be endless permutations and combinations and possibilities for me to say something offensive to a disabled person.

Fortunately I avoided that; my Polish wife was in a wheelchair, she had no legs and did not speak English. At her testing station, the English-speaking teammate informed us that she was having her period, so she couldn’t give her a sample. The chances of embarrassment, not to mention the complexity, went up a couple of notches. Blood in the urine! nooooooo! (It was a nice try, but this didn’t stop a drug test.)

We went to the handicap bathroom, with a sinking heart. Not only was this already complicated, but he couldn’t even talk to this woman. My ‘little talk superpower’ would now be useless.

I watched in amazement as he moved the chair closer to the side of the toilet. She took off her pants and then I could see that her body ended at the top of her thighs. Still in her underwear, she pushed herself up over the side of the chair and over the side of the toilet seat, her back to me. This was also against the rules, since I was supposed to be able to see what she was doing. But enforcing this rule seemed impossible. He stripped off his underwear and then the wait began.

As she shifted on the toilet seat, muttering to herself as she tried to get the Styrofoam cup out of the wrapper, I felt helpless. However, despite her lack of English, I conversed quietly and turned on the faucet in the sink, which made no difference. After a long time, she gave up and we went back to the testing station to wait. But my virginity on trial was gone, and I felt a little more in control.

Fortunately, her husband showed up and agreed to try again if he could come with us; he made her feel more comfortable and luckily she spoke a little english. After a few minutes of chatting with her husband about peeing, drug tests, Poland, Auckland, anything to ignore the half-naked woman sitting on the toilet, we finally succeeded.

Thus began my first week in Auckland. In a handicap bathroom at a shooting range, watching a woman with no legs urinate into a cup, while she talks to her husband.

Things could only get better.

©Cynthia Smith 2016

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