The World Anti‑Doping Agency has described the lack of drug testing in Spanish football during the last 11 months as “alarming” and “deeply disappointing”.
The National Anti-Doping Organization of Spain (AEPSAD) was declared non-compliant in March 2016, since when no Wada-compliant testing has been conducted across the country’s various football levels, including La Liga, the top-flight.
“The lack of testing in a country with one of the leading football leagues worldwide for a period of 12 months is alarming and will do little to instil confidence in clean sport at a time when it is needed most,” read a Wada statement.
“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. 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 is remarkable that in today’s world with the amount of money at stake, that the Spanish Football Federation has gone almost two years without testing its players for performing enhancing drugs.
For comparison, last season, 799 tests were carried out by UKAD on Premier League players.
Spanish athletes using performing enhancing drugs is not a new subject as the reputation of Spanish sport has already been seriously dented by the Operation Puerto blood-bags scandal, and this is another blow.