Ukad took 1,494 samples from the 2,047 players to appear in the EFL in 2016-17, while 1,171 samples were taken from 524 players who made at least one appearance in the Premier League

Urinating in a cup in front of strangers is an “embarrassing” but necessary and increasingly more frequent occurrence in English professional football.

As drugs-testing rates in the game continue to increase, BBC Sport speaks to players about what the process is like, and looks at what football is up against in the fight against drugs cheats.

‘Tested just once as a Premier League player’

Recently retired striker Matty Fryatt – who played in the Premier League for Hull City, and in all three divisions below the top flight – recalls being drugs tested just five times during his 15-year career.

In his one season in the Premier League, a campaign during which he helped the Tigers reach the 2014 FA Cup final, he was tested just once.

“When I was in the Premier League, I could easily have gone the entire season without being tested at all,” the 31-year-old, who also played for Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Walsall, told BBC Sport.

It was not until joining Leicester City in 2006, almost four years after signing his first professional deal, that he recalls seeing a drugs tester.

Those, he said, were the “dark ages” as he saw an increase in drugs testing as his career progressed.

In the Premier League last season, testing rose by 47% compared to the 2015-16 campaign, with 1,171 samples taken by UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) from 524 players who made at least one appearance.

However, at least 553 players – about a quarter of those appearing in the English Football League – were not drugs tested, despite the number of tests being up 24% compared to the previous campaign.

Fryatt (centre) celebrates Hull City’s second goal in their FA Cup defeat by Arsenal in 2014

“A couple of years back you could go the whole season without being tested,” said Fryatt.

“As time went on in the Championship, there was more testing at Leicester and Hull. Then in the Premier League with Hull there was more testing again.

“When I went back to the Championship, testing seemed to have built up for that level. But it’s all random, which means you could still go an entire season without being tested, while someone else could be tested a number of times. It’s a lottery.”

Following BBC Sport’s 2015-16 study into drugs testing in English football, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy said doping control officers were frequently at the club, while then Birmingham City boss Gianfranco Zola said they had been visited five times in just over half a season.

Sue Smith, who won 93 caps in 14 years as an England international, recalls being tested four times during her career – twice in club football and twice on international duty.

Lindsay Johnson, a former England team-mate of Smith’s who won the Women’s FA Cup and League Cup with Everton, said her “number seemed to come up a lot” for random tests for club and country.

“It would happen more frequently at the bigger events, so when I was playing for England at the World Cup – not necessarily the qualifiers, but at the World Cup itself,” said Johnson.

“As a player, you’d come to expect it more there than in our domestic games.”

How are samples collected?

How are athletes tested for drugs?

In the majority of cases, a ‘test sample’ in football