WADA alarmed by lack of drug testing in Spanish football

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Reports have suggested that no WADA-compliant drug testing has taken place in Spanish football in almost 12 months

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has noted its alarm at the reported lack of drug testing in Spanish football over the past year.

In March 2016, AEPSAD – Spain's anti-doping body – was declared non-compliant, while the WADA-accredited laboratory in Madrid was suspended in June.

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Reports emerged that no WADA-compliant test has been undertaken since that decision almost a year ago, with it suggested that no agreement was reached with FIFA or UEFA to step in and ensure tests were undertaken.

A WADA statement read: "WADA has noted the media reports stating that there has been no World Anti-Doping Code-compliant testing conducted in Spanish football since the National Anti-Doping Organization of Spain, AEPSAD, was declared non-compliant in March 2016. 

"The lack of testing in a country with one of the leading football leagues worldwide for a period of almost 12 months is alarming, and will do little to instil confidence in clean sport at a time when it is needed most. 

"After AEPSAD was declared Code non-compliant on 19 March 2016, WADA encouraged an agreement between AEPSAD and International Sport Federations (IFs) that would ensure testing would be carried out on national level athletes in Spain during the period of non-compliance. 

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"It is deeply disappointing that some International Federations did not sign the agreement, as this has prevented effective anti-doping programs from being run at the national level in Spain in a number of sports [during this period of non-compliance]. 

"It should be noted that whilst the WADA-accredited laboratory in Madrid is currently suspended (as a result of AEPSAD being declared non-compliant, and pursuant to Article 4.4 of the International Standard for Laboratories), the WADA-accredited laboratory in Barcelona is still operating fully and therefore continues to be able to receive and analyse samples pursuant to world anti-doping rules."