A Russian delegation, headed by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, held what has been described as a "constructive" meeting with the World Anti-Doping Agency in Frankfurt ©Getty Images

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has "committed fully" to the process and changes required of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to achieve compliance status, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) claims.

Mutko headed a Russian delegation at a meeting with WADA in the German city of Frankfurt, the first such engagement between the two parties since RUSADA was declared non-compliant at WADA’s Foundation Board meeting in Colorado Springs on Novmber 18.

WADA, whose delegation was headed by director general David Howman, described the meeting as "constructive" and stated its purpose was to map out the necessary testing programmes required to ensure that Russian athletes would be subject to a robust anti-doping programme during RUSADA's period of non-compliance.

It comes after WADA's Independent Commission report, which was published on November 9, accused Russia of widespread "state-supported" doping in athletics, as well as the destruction of positive drug test samples and corruption.

"WADA is pleased with the assurances provided by Minister Mutko to address the issues raised in WADA's Independent Commission report," said Howman.

"There is, however, still much work to be done by RUSADA.

"WADA is very committed to working with all parties concerning RUSADA’s path forward.

"It is imperative that Russia’s anti-doping programme be overhauled in order to protect the rights of clean athletes worldwide and to re-establish public confidence in Russian athletics."

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The WADA delegation was led by director general David Howman ©Getty Images

This marks a distinct change from Mutko's initial reaction to the report, which was to deny any wrongdoing and claim the findings were “assumptions” based on “unverified sources, unconfirmed facts”.

Russia has also now accepted a suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). 

The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) informed the IAAF's Council, which met in Monte Carlo yesterday, that they would not request a hearing, as was their constitutional right.

If the suspension is not lifted in time, Russia's athletes could miss the opportunity to compete at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The IAAF has set-up a five-member inspection team led by Norwegian anti-doping expert Rune Andersen that will oversee reforms in Russia before allowing them to have their suspension lifted.

The inspection team also includes Namibia's Frankie Fredericks a four-time Olympic silver medallist, who is now head of the IAAF Athletes' Commission.

At the moment, the inspection team is expected to report its findings at the IAAF Council meeting in Cardiff on March 27.

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