WADA reinstates Madrid anti-doping laboratory

Russian Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov addresses the assembly at the opening of the 2017 edition of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Annual Symposium. File Photo: AFP

Madrid's Anti-Doping Laboratory was reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Friday, more than a year after it was suspended.

The suspension, which followed WADA's declaration last March that the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) was non-compliant, prohibited the lab from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities.

AEPSAD, which had missed a deadline for required changes to its drug-testing procedures, was removed from the non-compliant list early last month and an inspection of the Madrid lab followed on March 23-24.

"We would like to thank the laboratory for their continued cooperation throughout this process," WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said in a statement.

"Given the specific circumstances of their suspension, WADA is confident that the laboratory will continue to operate to the high standards required."

The suspensions led to a dramatic drop in testing in the top two Spanish soccer leagues, with no samples at all taken from players in the second division for a year after AEPSAD's suspension.

WADA said in February the lack of testing was "alarming" with AEPSAD blaming FIFA and UEFA for not taking over drug testing in football while it was ruled non-compliant.