Following an investigation into complaints about the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD), the High Council of Sport sent a report to the agency and it is not positive. The allegations of doping malpractice by CELAD were initially published by Spanish media Relevo earlier in the week. The investigation continues.

Spain’s sports authority has now demanded that the director of its anti-doping agency (CELAD) Jose Luis Terreros resign. The demand comes after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused CELAD of malpractice.

Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes who is the head of the High Council said, “Spain’s commitment to ensuring that all athletes compete on equal terms and that the purity of sport prevails. We will cooperate faithfully with WADA.” 

WADA president Witold Banka said, “We are well aware of the deep-seated problems within the Spanish anti-doping system. I am disappointed with the level of cooperation we have received from CELAD as we seek to improve the system for Spanish athletes.”  

Relevo reported that CELAD had found positive results but waited the maximum time of one year to open cases and inform the athletes in question. At the same time, they were hiding other positives with retroactive approvals of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE).

WADA warned CELAD on Friday

WADA on Friday announced that it is aware of media allegations regarding the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (CELAD). Apparently, CELAD has been involved in anti-doping testing malpractice and possibly concealing positive test results involving Spanish athletes.

“WADA strongly rejects the suggestion that it would ever turn a blind eye to a valid case. The Agency confirms that all cases have been followed up repeatedly through the results management process. And that some are still pending,” the World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement.

Relevo alleged malpractice

Media company Relevo alleged that CELAD paid for irregular tests with public funds for five years. This led to no positive cases being sanctioned. 

According to El País, the Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) reported the CELAD case to the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the basis of a report received from the Ministry of Education and Sport.

WADA President Witold Banka said “We are well aware of the deep-seated problems in the Spanish anti-doping system. I am disappointed with the level of cooperation we have received from CELAD. In our attempt to improve the system for Spanish athletes. The fact that there are positive cases that have not been dealt with in a timely manner. Despite regular monitoring by WADA, is unacceptable,” he said.

“WADA will always ensure that CELAD — and all anti-doping organizations — adhere to the highest standards. This is in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, including prosecuting cases where appropriate. As such, WADA is following its normal procedures and acting in the best interests of clean sport. All such matters will be thoroughly investigated by WADA. If they are not dealt with quickly and effectively, it is clear that there will be significant consequences for Spanish sport,” he warned.

In 2023, WADA took the unusual step of withdrawing three Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) cases from CELAD. WADA handed them over to other international federations to deal with. Additionally WADA actively pursued CELAD regarding delays in certain cases.

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