The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the accreditation of Madrid's anti-doping laboratory, after a failure to meet global standards. However, Spanish athletes can still set their sights on a place in the Olympics.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the accreditation of Madrid's anti-doping laboratory, after a failure to meet international standards. However, Spanish athletes can still set their sights on a place in the Olympics.
WADA said on Monday that its decision was a direct result of a March decision to declare Spain non-compliant with the world anti-doping code.
The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prevents the laboratory from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples.
While the decision to declare Spain non-compliant could have left the country's athletes ineligible for major events, WADA noted in March that the lack of a formal government in Spain had hampered efforts to resolve issues.
As a result, WADA said it would negotiate agreements that would ensure effective testing programs were in place and allow Spain to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Spain has been in political deadlock since a general election in December that left a hung parliament divided among four main parties who failed to reach agreement on a stable coalition.
Despite the decision about the Madrid laboratory, WADA said that Spain's other laboratory in Barcelona had maintained its accreditation.
The Madrid laboratory, meanwhile, has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday that it wanted to catch "as many dopers as possible" before the beginning of the Olympics.
rc/bw (AFP, Reuters)