Plans are underway to establish an ad-hoc working group comprised of public authority representatives ©Twitter

Plans are underway to set-up a formal collaboration group comprised of public authority representatives within the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it was announced here today.

The move, called the "One Voice" project and spearheaded by WADA vice-president Linda Helleland, was raised during today's Foundation Board meeting.

The group, which will consist of five members selected from the various regions worldwide and will be chaired by Helleland, hopes to present a more detailed proposal when the 38-member ruling body convenes in Seoul on November 16.

Those behind the idea claim it will help increase the collaboration between Governments, Ministers and advisers and WADA.

It was given the support of public authority representatives during a meeting held here on Tuesday (May 17), chaired by Australia's Lisa Studdert.

Helleland, elected WADA vice-president at last November's Foundation Board meeting in Glasgow, has targeted January 2018 for the full implementation of the ad-hoc working group.

"It is about how we can develop clear strategies and mechanisms for the public authorities to agree on common positions when we meet at the Foundation Board," the Norwegian told insidethegames.

"This initiative was accepted so we have already started working on it.

"We will make a draft proposal and present in November when we meet again in Seoul.

"It is also about exchanging information to ensure consultation between Foundation Board meetings because we do not meet very often.

"We are all over the world, some of us are Ministers and we have a busy schedule.

The issue was raised during WADA director general Olivier Niggli's report at the meeting ©ITG
The issue was raised during WADA director general Olivier Niggli's report at the meeting ©ITG

"I think we need some structure to discuss and collaborate between the meetings.

"It is important for WADA because we are the crossroad and the fight against doping is so important.

"We need to join together in the fight against doping.

"Hopefully we can implement it from January but it depends on what we suggest in November and if we get it through or not."

Studdert, the former adviser to the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport in Australia, Greg Hunt, has given her full backing to the plans.

"Our objective is about doing the best we can to support WADA in its endeavours and that is our very clear mandate," she said.

"This is about providing support to WADA, the Code and its implementation because we are WADA and WADA is stronger if we are united and coordinated."

The group will discuss key issues related to WADA during meetings, which will take place in between gatherings of the Foundation Board, including the organisation's ongoing reform process.

This will allow them to "agree on common positions" both at and outside of WADA meetings.

"We want to help support this," added Studdert.

"We don't intend to change our commitment as individual public authorities to those processes.

"We want to come up with new ideas to strengthen those processes."

The move comes amid a review of WADA's governance amid calls for the organisation to become more independent.

In a 12-point declaration released in March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board said WADA should "have a neutral President and Vice-President who have no function in any Government or Governmental organisation or in any sports organisation".

They also claimed WADA should be equally independent from both sports organisations and from national interests.