RUSADA are receiving help from the UK Anti-Doping after WADA declared them non-compliant ©RUSADA

Britain is to help Russia overhaul its drugs-testing system following the scandal which has led to the country's athletes being banned and left them fearing they will not be able to compete at next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) will work closely with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), recently declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it was announced by the Sports Ministry in Moscow today.

"WADA has recommended UKAD to RUSADA," Natalia Zheleznova, an anti-doping adviser to Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, told the country's officials news agency TASS.

"They are expected to plan tests together attracting international companies which take [doping] tests,"

RUSADA was heavily criticised as part of the WADA Independent Commission report published last month, which confirmed allegations of systemic doping within Russian athletics. 

The report accused RUSADA of "routinely" violating international testing standards and allowing athletes banned for doping to compete, despite having been suspended from competition.

The body was consequently declared non-compliant at a WADA Foundation Board meeting in Colorado Springs on November 18.

Russia's anti-doping laboratory in Moscow also had its WADA- accreditation revoked, with the body's tainted director Grigory Rodchenkov having resigned.  

It had been thought possible RUSADA could be disbanded, with a new body set up in its place in a bid to remedy the situation, but Mutko ruled out this prospect.

Publication of the report also led to the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) being suspended by the International Association of Athletics Association (IAAF), meaning they are unable to compete in top competitions and leaving them in jeopardy of being forced to miss Rio 2016.

RUSADA are based in the headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee, whose President Alexander Zhukov confirmed the arrival in Moscow of the WADA Anti-Doping Commission ©Getty Images
RUSADA are based in the headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee, whose President Alexander Zhukov confirmed the arrival in Moscow of the WADA Anti-Doping Commission ©Getty Images

The arrival of a WADA group today arrived in Moscow to begin evaluating the situation, with UKAD at the forefront, coincided with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach urging Russia to sort out the mess and ensure it brought its anti-doping processes up to standard. 

Clean athletes "see the finger of suspicion pointing at them," he admitted here following the IOC Executive Board meeting.

Bach claimed it was the "the very worst side-effect of doping".

"The WADA Anti-Doping Commission begins its work in Moscow today to determine which international organisations will fulfill the anti-doping control functions during the suspension of the work of the RUSADA," Alexander Zhukov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, said.

Zhukov claimed RUSADA is already addressing the "deficiencies" identified in the WADA report and was committed to fighting doping.

UKAD confirmed their involvement in helping Russia. 

“UKAD has been asked by WADA to be part of an evaluation visit to Russia to support WADA explore the ways and means of how an anti-doping programme can be run during a period of non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code," the statement from the London-based organisation said. 

"This is an initial meeting and therefore we will not make any further comment at this time until any scope of UKAD’s involvement has been determined.”

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