Katie Archibald column: What happens when the inspector calls and you're not ready for a sample?

Newly-crowned omnium world champion Katie Archibald reveals what happened when the dope control officer called around and she was a bit dehydrated

Katie Archibald.

Former swimmer Katie Archibald made her mark in cycling when she won her first team pursuit world title after just three years in the sport. She went on to claim gold with Great Britain in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games

I had doping control come round this morning, at 7am. The way Whereabouts works is we supply our location for one hour of every day and in that hour we have to be available for testing.

I, like most athletes on the system I know, set it for early in the morning when I’m likely to be in bed. The idea is they wake you up and you probably already need to pee so it’s a quick and painless process.

However, I’ve just come back from a World Championships and although I have been drinking a fair amount it’s somehow left me quite dehydrated. So, for what I’m convinced is the first time in my life, I woke up and didn’t need to pee. Disaster!

But it was actually a nice morning in the end with me and the UKAD officer having breakfast together and watching the morning cartoons while we waited.

>>> First gold for GB as Katie Archibald wins nail-biting omnium at Track World Championships 2017

In fact, the last week has felt like one, long, nice morning. I’ll admit I left Hong Kong slightly dejected (though with no justifiable reason for self-pity) after the emotional confusion of becoming world champion in the omnium one day and an unremarkable fifth in the individual pursuit the next.

Katie Archibald claims the 2017 omnium world title. Photo: SWPix.com
(Image credit: SWpix.com)

Having put a lot of, in hindsight unrealistic, expectation on my pursuit performance it felt hard to ignore it and I probably (definitely) seemed like a major boob moping around with a rainbow jersey in my backpack but a frown on my face.

But I’m back home now and finally smiling about my success. My training this week has been no more complex than ‘just go out and ride’ so life feels easy. Instead of protein gels I’ve been carrying £5 notes in my back pocket and exchanging them for cake: a new system which is proving quite the triumph.

It can’t last forever though (it can’t really last more than a week) with my first full European road season sitting on the horizon. I ride the Elsy Jacobs Festival stage race this weekend and that will be the start of boot camp. Wish me luck.

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