Nurses are to be recruited to play a key role in stamping out the use of performance-enhancing drugs during the 2012 Olympics.
UK Anti-Doping, the organisation carrying out sports drug testing for the games, is looking to hire 10 phlebotomists from around the country to take blood tests from sportsmen and women.
The recruits will cover Olympic events taking place outside of London, such as football, sailing and rowing, rather than thet track and field athletics and swimming events taking place in the capital.
They could also subsequently be used for tests in a range of other sporting events including Premiership football matches and cricket test matches, as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
The organisation currently has a team of 14 blood collection officers, but is looking to expand its workforce outside of London. Director of operations Nicole Sapstead said nurses often had the skills needed to do the job.
She told Nursing Times: “Blood collection officers need to be able to collect blood from an individual who may be incredibly anxious, who may have a phobia of needles or is prone to fainting.
“It’s about doing the job while causing the least distress and as little bruising as possible – and know what to do if some passes out or gets upset and aggressive.
“Nurses have those skills, and the confidence to deal with those situations.”
Recruits will not be guaranteed a minimum amount of work, and UK Anti-Doping says the job is best suited to people wanting to earn some extra money on top of their regular pay, or retired nurses.
Ms Sapstead told Nursing Times that the role was not for those who just wanted to meet famous people, and she warned that normal patient confidentiality rules applied.
“It’s about keeping high-profile people happy, and trying to promote clean sport.”
Most doping requires urine samples, although blood tests are also used for screening against the use of substances such as growth hormones.
Anyone interested in applying should visit www.ukad.org.uk.