MADRID Spain's anti-doping organisation AEPSAD said on Friday it expects to be able to resume drug testing once the government approves a global code, possibly by the end of this month, after WADA warned of the lack of testing in Spanish football.
Since March 2016, no tests have been carried out by the Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport (AEPSAD) in the country's second division, and only 57 tests have been conducted at La Liga clubs not competing in Europe.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement that: "The lack of testing in a country with one of the leading football leagues worldwide for a period of almost 12 months is alarming."
But AEPSAD told Reuters on Friday it expected to see changes take place before the end of the month.
"This situation will be resolved once the Royal Decree is approved to implement the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, with which WADA will then proceed to declare AEPSAD compliant with such code and the ban on Madrid's anti-doping lab will be lifted," it said in a statement.
It also blamed FIFA and UEFA for not taking over drug testing in football after WADA declared it non-compliant last March, when it missed a deadline for required changes to its drug-testing procedures. WADA then shut down Madrid's anti-doping laboratory in June.
La Liga clubs playing in Europe and Spain's national team have been tested this season by UEFA and FIFA, respectively.
AEPSAD said in its statement: "AEPSAD requested of FIFA and UEFA, following a proposal of WADA, the signing of an agreement so that these international federations would take over the anti-doping controls during AEPSAD's non-compliance period.
Both federations declined, however, as they saw such widespread testing as beyond their area of responsibility, AEPSAD said.
Spain was not able to approve the changes to its anti-doping system as it did not have a functioning government until November, following two inconclusive general elections.
(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; Editing by Hugh Lawson)