Valérie Fourneyron is being tipped to chair the Independent Testing Authority ©Getty Images

Former French Sports Minister Valérie Fourneyron is set to become chair of the new Independent Testing Authority (ITA) being set-up to take over drugs testing procedures for international sport, insidethegames understands.

Fourneyron, a former volleyball player and qualified doctor with 30  years' experience in anti-doping work, is thought to hold the support of key figures from both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The 57-year-old will be joined on the ruling Board by representatives from the IOC, International Federations and Athletes' Commissions as well as an independent member.

Fourneyron served as French Sports Minister between 2012 and 2014 and remained a member of the National Assembly until this year.

She has also served as chair of the WADA Health, Medical and Research Committee and has played a leading role in the Steering Committees set-up to pave the way for the ITA.

Under current plans told to insidethegames by figures closely involved, the IOC representative will be Turkey's vice-president and Medical and Scientific Commission chair Uğur Erdener.

Italy's Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti will represent International Federations. 

The athletes representative is expected to be Zimbabwe's double Olympic swimming gold medallist Kirsty Coventry, now a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission.

Peijie Chen from China, the current president of Shanghai Institute of Physical Education, will be the independent representative.

There is also expected to be a yet-to-be-determined non-voting member from WADA on the Swiss-based ITA Board.

It is hoped that the ITA will ultimately replace International Federations and event organisers as the primary body responsible for drugs testing.

It is planned to be launched in some form in time for next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Zimbabwe's double Olympic swimming gold medallist Kirsty Coventry is expected to be represent the interests of athletes on the new Independent Testing Authority ©IOC
Zimbabwe's double Olympic swimming gold medallist Kirsty Coventry is expected to be represent the interests of athletes on the new Independent Testing Authority ©IOC

The composition will raise questions about how truly "independent" the body is, given how it will include two IOC members and one other senior figure closely aligned to the Olympic Movement.

Officials close to the IOC have countered this by pointing out that the Board will have less power than the director general, who will run the organisation on  day-to-day basis.

They will, however, be responsible for recruiting the director general.

Core responsibilities of the ITA will involve in and out of competition testing, case management in the event of failed tests and therapeutic use exemptions.

Additional tasks could also be carried out if required, such as analysis of athletes' biological passports, further case management on appeal and the storage of samples and reanalysis.

International Federations will pay varying amounts depending upon what support they received.

The IOC will also pay in the same way when it uses the ITA at an Olympic Game but will also contribute a lump sum to get the new organisation up and running over the first "two or three years".

There is not expected to be any Government funding involved.

All sanctions at Pyeongchang 2018 will be implemented by a special Ad-Hoc Committee of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as happened for the first time at Rio 2016. 

It is not yet clear who will be responsible for sanctions in the longer term.

Fourneyron did not confirm her intentions when contacted by insidethegames today, but said she "procedure for appointing is not closed".