WADA are due to hold their next Foundation Board meeting in Montreal on Thursday ©Getty Images

Russia, the creation of an Independent Testing Authority and the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) governance reform process are set to be key items on the agenda when the organisation's ruling Foundation Board meets here on Thursday (May 18).

WADA's 12-member Executive Committee are due to hold a meeting tomorrow prior to the gathering of the Foundation Board, comprised of representatives from the Olympic Movement and Governments.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) battle for recompliance is likely to feature heavily.

Pavel Kolobkov, who replaced Vitaly Mutko as Russian Sports Minister last year following his promotion to Deputy Prime Minister, has claimed that the aim for RUSADA is to regain provisional compliance with WADA by this month.

He hopes they will be fully re-instated by November, approximately three months before Pyeongchang 2018 is due to take place from February 9 to 25.

Concerns have been raised both publicly and privately, however, regarding their progress.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli will open the Foundation Board meeting with an update on the recommendations from the previous gathering of the ruling body, held in Glasgow in November.

Three Working Groups, formed to review the Agency’s governance structure, review the laboratory accreditation process and evaluate establishing an Independent Testing Authority, are also expected to report to the Foundation Board.

A graded sanctioning framework for non-compliance, put forward by the independent Compliance Review Committee in November, is also set to be discussed, along with the McLaren Report.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie will chair the Foundation Board meeting in Montréal ©Getty Images
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie will chair the Foundation Board meeting in Montréal ©Getty Images

The second part of the report from the Canadian lawyer, published in December, alleged more than 1,000 Russian athletes were implicated in a scheme where doping samples were tampered with and manipulated at events including the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

It continues to dominate discussion in the anti-doping world, particularly concerning the response to the document.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie, International Olympic Committee (IOC) counterpart Thomas Bach and McLaren pledged further co-operation on the report when they met earlier this month.

The meeting came amid ongoing uncertainty as to when the results of two IOC Commissions investigating the evidence with an eye to sanctioning Russian performances at Sochi 2014 and defining their eligibility at Pyeongchang 2018, will be released.

The Foundation Board, chaired by Sir Craig, will also be asked to select a host for the 2019 World Conference on Doping in Sport.

Muscat in Oman, Katowice in Poland and Geneva in Switzerland are the three candidates in the running after they all expressed their intention to stage the event last year.

The 2019 World Conference will be the fifth event of its kind, following in the footsteps of those held in Lausanne in 1999, Copenhagen in March 2003, Madrid in 2007 and Johannesburg in 2013.

Other topics on the agenda in Montréal, where WADA have their headquarters, include whistleblowers and reports from the various committees, including the Athletes' Committee, chaired by Canada's Beckie Scott.