Under the guidelines of the United Physique Competitors Anti-Doping Agency (UPCAA), member organizations agree to include at least two FULL polygraph examinations (as defined in the preceding content) in their current testing arsenal for every contest sanctioned by their organization. Said polygraphs must be administered by a polygraph examiner who has graduated from an education and training program that substantially meets the accreditation standards of the American Polygraph Association (APA} in place at the time of graduation. A complete list of APA-accredited schools can be found at  http://www.polygraph.org/section/training/apa-accredited-polygraph-programs. UPCAA member organizations should not be fooled if examiners tell them they were personally taught by another examiner (commonly known as preceptor training). This simply means they are trying to divert the attention of the UPCAA member and/or its contest promoters from the fact that they have no formal training.

Moreover, if the state in which a contest is being conducted requires a license to perform polygraph examinations in any form (even for the current abbreviated so-called “polygraph”), the examiners must be so licensed. Currently the following states require a license: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, St. Louis in Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Suffolk & Erie Counties in New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If examiners currently administering polygraphs in these states cannot provide a license, they are conducting tests illegally and contrary to UPCAA guidelines. A polygraph examination by any definition means ANY procedure involving the use of instrumentation or a mechanical or electrical device to enable or assist the detection of deception, the verification of truthfulness, or the rendering of a diagnostic opinion regarding either of these, and includes a lie detector or similar test.

UPCAA members who are currently employing so-called abbreviated “polygraphs” as a deterrent to cheating may continue to use them IN ADDITION TO THE UPCAA MANDATED FULL POLYGRAPHS. However, examiners for these abbreviated polygraphs must be in compliance with the educational requirements referred to in the preceding UPCAA educational guidelines and, where required, licensed accordingly.

In summary, the UPCAA polygraph requirements are as follows:

  • All UPCAA member organizations are required to select athletes for true polygraph examinations at every sanctioned contest. One such examination must be designated among the field of contestants by random drawing at the time of registration. The second such examination must be designated to one contestant at the sole and absolute selection of the contest promoter or head judge.
  • Athletes selected for the Polygraphs must complete the examination within one week after the contest. THE COST WILL BE COVERED AND PAID IN ADVANCE BY THE MEMBER FEDERATION/ PROMOTER USING THE UPCAA POOLED RESOURCES COLLECTED AT THE CONTEST. ATHLETES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THIS TEST SEPARATELY. Athletes will be provided with a local APA Polygrapher.
  • UPCAA policy permits minors (under the age of 18) to be polygraph tested but ONLY with the written consent (witnessed and/or notarized) and knowledge of a parent or legal guardian.
  • UPCAA mandates that no one except the subject being tested may be present in the immediate testing area during a polygraph examination with the exception of a UKPCAA-approved translator/interpreter in the event of a language barrier.
  • All UPCAA-mandated polygraph examinations must consist of (1) a comprehensive pretest interview; (2) an “acquaintance” test in addition to a specific issue test of not fewer than three charts; and (3) a post-test interview.
  • All UPCAA-mandated polygraph examinations shall be administered over a period of not less than 90 minutes in duration.
  • All UPCAA-mandated polygraphs must be audio/visual recorded.
  • All polygraph examinations – whether the UPCAA-mandated polygraphs or any abbreviated so-called polygraphs – must involve the use of at least one or more motion sensors (seat, arms, feet, head).
  • All polygraph examiners testing for UPCAA member organizations must (1) have graduated from an APA-accredited education and training program and (2) be licensed by the state in which the contest is conducted where such licensure is required.
  • For UPCAA member organizations/contest promoters who do not have polygraph examiners who meet UPCAA criteria, UPCAA will provide them with the names of qualified examiners in their area.
  • All polygraph failures – whether from the UPCAA-mandated true polygraphs or from any abbreviated so-called polygraphs – must be reported to the UPCAA by the member organizations not more than 10 days from the date of the contest in which said failures took place. UPCAA member organizations further agree to post said failures on their respective websites within ten (10) days from the date of the contest in which said failures took place. The UPCAA will ensure that said results are communicated to all UPCAA member organizations and report them to the media for full transparency.
  • Contestants who fail a UPCAA mandated polygraph shall have, as a matter of recourse, 10 days from the date of notification to contest the results and request that a second UPCAA-qualified polygraph examiner review the polygraph charts, together with the audio/visual recordings, at the sole cost of the contestant. If the second polygraph examiner concurs with the results of the first examiner, the results will stand as a failed test with all associated penalties.  If the results of the second examiner disagree with the results of the primary examiner, the results will offset each other, and the contestant will be exonerated from the polygraph failure and reimbursed by the contest promoter for the cost of the re-examination accordingly.

These polygraph guidelines will bring increased legitimacy to drug testing for natural bodybuilding and enhance the ability to expose those contestants who would violate the banned substance list.  At the same time, the guidelines should not impose any unrealistic or difficult adjustments to existing protocols of prospective UPCAA member organizations.