La Liga lack of drug tests worries anti-doping agency Wada

The absence of drug testing in Spanish football in the past 11 months has “alarmed” the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Since March 2016, just 57 tests have been done on La Liga players from clubs not competing in Europe and none at all in the country’s second division.

Spain’s anti-doping body (AEPSAD) was declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency in March 2016.

Wada hoped Fifa or Uefa could take on the country’s drug testing in the interim but no agreement was struck.

“The lack of testing in a country with one of the leading football leagues worldwide for a period of almost 12 months is alarming,” said Wada.

“It will do little to instil confidence in clean sport at a time when it is needed most.”

AEPSAD responded by saying it expects testing to resume before the end of the month, once the new Spanish government approves WADA’s global code.

The background

A Wada-accredited laboratory in Madrid was suspended in June and was prohibited “from carrying out any Wada-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples” after missing a deadline to make changes to its testing procedures.

AEPSAD has confirmed that they asked Fifa and Uefa to sign an agreement to take over testing during the suspension but that both declined as they felt it was outside their area of responsibility.

Wada described that as a “deeply disappointing” move which “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.

However, La Liga clubs playing in Europe and the Spanish national team have been subject to testing by Uefa and Fifa, respectively.

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