By David Owen

South Korea and New Zealand are the latest countries to make donations to the WADA anti-doping research fundTwo more countries have made contributions to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) embryonic fund for new anti-doping research, enabling the initiative to creep closer to its $20 million (£12 million/€16 million) target.

South Korea and New Zealand have become the fifth and sixth countries to chip in to the fund, initiated last year with a $10 million (£6 million/€8 million) commitment from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

South Korea, host of the next Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018, has made an initial contribution of KRW200 million (£116,000/$184,000/€148,000), with a commitment to providing an eventual $500,000 (£315,000/€401,000).

New Zealand's contribution totals $20,000 (£12,000/€16,000).

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President, said: "Korea hosted a tremendous Asian Games only weeks ago, and in doing so showed the world its commitment to the sporting values of fair play and honesty.

"It is timely that Korea has followed on from this positive experience by pledging its support to clean sport, and the anti-doping research fund that was announced by the IOC last December."

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie has welcomed the contributions from South Korea and New Zealand to help combat doping ©Getty ImagesWADA President Sir Craig Reedie has welcomed the contributions from South Korea and New Zealand to help combat doping ©Getty Images

He went on: "There can be no doubting New Zealand's zest for sport and firm belief in fair play, and I am therefore pleased that the country has pledged to commit financially to what is one of the main priorities for anti-doping – research."

The new commitments take to $8.27 million (£5.21 million/€6.64 million) the aggregate sum now pledged to the fund by the six countries - China, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and New Zealand.

Because of WADA's structure - the agency is funded broadly 50 per cent by the IOC and 50 per cent by Governments - the proposed $10 million (£6 million/€8 million) IOC investment must be matched by public authorities if it is to be released in full as planned.

A week remains until the WADA Foundation Board meeting in Paris on November 16 that constitutes the deadline for finding the remaining $1.73 million (£1.09 million/€1.39 million) necessary for the fund to hit its $20 million (£12 million/€16 million) target.