The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the Madrid Doping Control Laboratory, it has been announced.
The decision was taken as a direct response to WADA’s Foundation Board declaring the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) non-compliant on March 19, according to a statement.
WADA admitted at the time that they understood why the country was having difficulties getting its anti-doping measures in line with regulations due to ongoing political turmoil in Spain.
The laboratory in the Spanish capital will be prohibited from carrying out WADA related anti-doping activities, including the analysis of urine and blood samples, during the suspension, which comes into effect immediately.
Samples from the facility will now be required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory during the period of suspension.
The laboratory is able to launch an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of the temporary ban.
No clear reasons for the suspension have yet been revealed, but the laboratory will have failed guidelines set-out by the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL).
They could have avoided a temporary suspension as per ISL rules, which state if, in the year before the AEPSAD had been declared non-compliant, at least 60 percent of samples analysed in Madrid had come from outside of Spain.
WADA revealed the figure of samples provided by the AEPSAD was 69 per cent.
WADA confirmed that the nation’s other Anti-Doping Laboratory, located in Barcelona, has maintained its accreditation.
The news follows WADA taking the same step with the facility in Bloemfontein in South Africa last month.
The South African Doping Control Laboratory will remain suspended until September 30.
WADA also revoked the accreditation of the Moscow Laboratory in Russia in April.
They had initially suspended the facility on November 10, following the WADA Independent Commission reports which revealed evidence of widespread state sponsored doping in Russian athletics.
Cover-ups and the destruction of samples were also revealed, and suspending the laboratory, which is at the centre of the scandal, was a key recommendation.
Its accreditation was completely revoked but WADA President Sir Craig Reedie then exclusively revealed to insidethegames last month that it had been partly reaccredited to enable it to resume analysis of blood samples.
The organisation also suspended the accreditation of the Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem in Lisbon in Portugal in April after this too failed to meet the ISL requirements, along with the Beijing Laboratory in China.