A cooperation agreement between the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has officially been signed, it was announced today.
Natalia Zhelanova, anti-doping adviser to Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, had claimed that the agreement had been reached on February 1 and the partnership has now been confirmed by WADA.
In December, Zhelanova revealed WADA had recommended UKAD to RUSADA to help Russia overhaul its drugs-testing system following the doping scandal, leading to the All-Russia Athletic Federation’s (ARAF) being suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
RUSADA and UKAD are now “agreeing on the detail required to deliver a testing programme during RUSADA’s period of non-compliance”, according to a statement from WADA.
The agreement will include UKAD initiating a test distribution plan, aimed at making sure sufficient testing is in place in Russia during RUSADA’s current period of non-compliance.
They were declared non-compliant at a WADA Foundation Board meeting in Colorado Springs on November 18 last year.
It followed the publication of the damning first WADA Independent Commission report, where RUSADA was heavily criticised after the presence of a state-supported doping regime was alleged to be present in the country.
The report accused RUSADA of "routinely" violating international testing standards and allowing athletes banned for doping to compete, despite having been suspended from competition.
WADA also confirmed they were working closely with RUSADA by “assisting the agency in its efforts to regain Code compliance”.
“WADA is pleased to confirm that an agreement between UKAD, RUSADA and WADA has been signed," the statement said.
"RUSADA and UKAD are in the final stages of agreeing on the detail required to deliver a testing programme during RUSADA’s period of non-compliance.
“UKAD will ensure that targeted and intelligence-led testing is carried out on Russian athletes, and is responsible for continued coordination with the appropriate sport federations during this period.
“Results management of all cases will be managed by a designated independent body, with full oversight by WADA.”
Russia's anti-doping laboratory in Moscow also had its WADA accreditation revoked, with the body's tainted director Grigory Rodchenkov having resigned.
An IAAF Task Force is continuing to work with the ARAF in a bit to ensure improvements are made ahead of Rio 2016.
More details are due to be revealed following an IAAF Council meeting in Monte Carlo on March 10 and 11.