No valid anti-doping tests in LaLiga blamed on lack of FIFA, UEFA help

By Joe Wright 10 February 2017 4802
No valid anti-doping tests in LaLiga blamed on lack of FIFA, UEFA help

There have been no valid anti-doping tests in LaLiga this season due to a refusal from FIFA or UEFA to take charge of the process, according to Spain's anti-doping authority.

AEPSAD was declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in March last year after failing to implement measures to correct the concerns that had seen it placed on the global organisation's 'watch list'.

Although assistance in handling anti-doping control for a number of other sports was provided by governing bodies, AEPSAD says it was unable to reach a similar agreement with FIFA or UEFA for football.

As a result, there has been no official testing carried out at the highest level in Spain throughout the 2016-17 season.

In a statement released in response to reports highlighting the low number of tests, AEPSAD said: "On March 19 2016, AEPSAD was declared non-compliant with the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code by the WADA Foundation Board. That decision involved the suspension of the accreditation of the doping control laboratory of AEPSAD itself.

"The exceptional political situation that Spain has experienced in recent months has prevented the implementation of the necessary law for the full adaptation of Spanish anti-doping rules to the current World Anti-Doping Code.

"In order to ensure compliance with the Annual Control Distribution Plan, AEPSAD, in collaboration with WADA, established collaboration agreements with different international federations to be responsible for carrying out anti-doping controls in our country.

"Regarding the absence of doping controls in Spanish football, AEPSAD made proposals to FIFA and UEFA, at the behest of WADA, for the signing of an agreement for one of these international federations to assume control of doping in Spanish football during AEPSAD's non-compliance period.

"Both federations declined to sign the agreement on the understanding that FIFA was limited to international football, while UEFA felt that it was limited to football clubs participating in UEFA competitions. Therefore, no agreement was signed and no international federation would assume the responsibility for anti-doping tests in Spanish football."

Spain spent many months in 2016 without a sitting government, effectively making the passing of legal measures to become compliant with WADA's code impossible.

However, AEPSAD says that 57 tests have been carried out in LaLiga this season, despite the lack of a valid anti-doping authority rendering them unofficial.

"In the 2016-17 season, 57 players of the Primera Division have been subjected to doping control," the statement added.

"This situation will be resolved with the approval of the decree that will implement the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code into Spanish legislation, as will the lifting of the suspension of the accreditation of the doping control laboratory in Madrid."

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Joe Wright