Not a Sin­gle Dope Test in La Liga This Sea­son Spain’s anti-dop­ing agency was de­clared non-com­pli­ant in March and no valid body has un­der­taken test­ing since

The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games - Ed Ma­lyon

Span­ish foot­ball is ap­proach­ing a year since it last car­ried out an anti-dop­ing test that was valid un­der guidelines set by the World An­tiDop­ing Author­ity (Wada), it has emerged.

The Ibe­rian na­tion’s anti-dop­ing author­ity, Aep­sad, was de­clared non-com­pli­ant with Wada’s anti-dop­ing code back in March af­ter a four-month stint on their watch list, mean­ing that any test­ing un­der­taken since has not con­formed to the global anti-dop­ing au­thor­i­ties’ high stan­dards af­ter their test­ing lab­o­ra­tory was sus­pended.

While in other sports Aep­sad was able to draft in as­sis­tance from gov­ern­ing bod­ies, Uefa and Fifa both de­clined to step in to en­sure valid test­ing was tak­ing place in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

Aep­sad re­leased a state­ment on Thurs­day to de­fend its po­si­tion: “The ex­cep­tional po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion that Spain has sur­vived in the last few months has pre­vented the im­pli­ca­tion of Law 3/2013, nec­es­sary for ful­fill­ing the Span­ish anti-dop­ing rules and the World Anti-Dop­ing code...

“With re­spect to the ab­sence of anti-dop­ing test­ing in Span­ish foot­ball, Aep­sad pro­posed to Fifa and Uefa, at the be­hest of Wada, the sign­ing of an agree­ment in or­der that one of th­ese in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tions would take over the test­ing in Span­ish foot­ball while Aep­sad was non-com­pli­ant.

“Bothfed­er­a­tions­de­clined­tosignthea­gree­ment on the un­der­stand­ing that Fifa were limited to in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, while Uefa felt­thatthey­w­ere­lim­it­edto­foot­ball­club­spar­tic­i­pating­inUe­fa­com­pe­ti­tions.There­fore,no agree­ment was signed and no in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion would as­sume the re­spon­si­bil­ity for anti-dop­ing tests in Span­ish foot­ball.”

Aep­sad were keen to point out that, de­spite

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them not be­ing Wada-en­dorsed, they had still tested 57 play­ers this sea­son. While Wada recog­nise that Aep­sad was un­able to im­ple­ment the nec­es­sary changes in March due to the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Spain — in which they went months and months with­out a sit­ting gov­ern­ment dur­ing 2016 — it re­mains a huge con­cern that no valid anti-dop­ing author­ity has been un­der­tak­ing test­ing in La Liga.

The Span­ish top flight is con­sid­ered one of the world’s pre­mier foot­ball leagues and boasts many of the planet’s big­gest st a rs, i ncludi ng Cris­tia no Ron­aldo, Lionel Messi and Ney­mar.

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