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There Hasn’t Been A Valid Doping Test In La Liga For Almost 12 Months

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the foundation launched by the International Olympic Committee to combat performance-enhancing drugs in sports, has spoken out against Spanish football over its “alarming” lack of drug testing.

Testing programs in Spain have been nonexistent since the suspension of a testing laboratory in Madrid, and FIFA has failed to rectify the situation, claiming their only concern is international football, and UEFA has declared that their focus is only on their own competitions (Champions League, Europa League, European Championship).

While Spain’s own anti-doping organization says they plan to resume testing once they obtain the government’s permission, which could be by the end of this month, it’s been almost 12 months since a valid doping test was conducted in La Liga, according to World Soccer’s Jamie Rainbow

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

According to a CNN article from June, FIFA conducted 31,242 doping tests in 2014 and 61 samples (0.20%) returned positive. That’s a higher rate than that of the 2012 Olympic Games, and the man who alerted the world to doping throughout Russian athletics, journalist Hajo Seppelt, believes football has its own problems as well. 


“People who say that there is no doping problem in football, that’s bullshit,” said Seppelt. “People say the drugs have no benefits, but look at the science and the distances covered by players in the game today.”

With the monetary reward of being a first-team footballer so high, doping is a competitive incentive for players with a low risk considering how difficult it is for anti-doping agencies to uncover its use.

According to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, he’s “played against many teams” that have used performance-enhancing drugs.

“Honestly, I don’t think we do enough [testing],” said Wenger. “It is very difficult for me to believe that you have 740 players at the World Cup and you come out with zero problems. Mathematically, that happens every time. But statistically, even for social drugs, it looks like we would do better to go deeper.”

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