Margarita Pakhnotskaya has said testing will resume in May ©Getty Images

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) plans to resume testing in certain regions of the county from May 11, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Testing in Russia has been suspended since March 27, following Russian President Vladimir Putin telling all Russians working in non-essential sectors to stay home due to the outbreak.

The period was initially due to last one week, but Putin extended the move until the end of April.

RUSADA deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya has said the organisation is preparing for the resumption of testing in May.

Testing is expected to be restricted to areas less impacted by the coronavirus, with a priority placed on athletes seeking to compete at next year's re-arranged Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

Pakhnotskaya told Russia's official state news agency TASS that the organisation was gathering information regarding athletes' whereabouts and the availability of doping control officers to allow testing to resume.

"RUSADA was initially aware that the first ten days of May were likely to be non-working as well, but nevertheless carried on with its preparations to resume testing," Pakhnotskaya said.

"We currently work on the acquisition of special protective outfits for our doping inspectors.

"We are also closely monitoring the epidemiological situation in every Russian region, taking into account all imposed restrictions.

"We have regions, which in comparison with Moscow and the Moscow Region, have almost no imposed restrictions.

"Our doping control inspectors are residing not only in Moscow and the Moscow Region, but in other cities of the country as well.

"This is why our inspectors, who are staying in more favourable regions, are able to carry on with their testing work in line with all directives and requirements.

"Inspectors that we choose will have to immediately pass tests for coronavirus.

"In case the tests are negative we will be ready to resume our tests after May 10 in certain regions."

Testing is expected to resume in areas less impacted by coronavirus ©Getty Images
Testing is expected to resume in areas less impacted by coronavirus ©Getty Images

Pakhnotskaya added that the organisation is buying special protective outfits and protective screens for its inspectors, to enable them to carry out tests safely.

Russia has recorded more than 99,000 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began, the eighth highest figure worldwide.

A total of 972 deaths have been reported in Russia to date from coronavirus.

Concerns have been raised over the possibility of athletes attempting to exploit the lack of testing being conducted across the world.

National Anti-Doping Organisations in the United States and Norway are among those to have devised ways to test athletes during the pandemic, in an attempt to plug the gaps caused by the outbreak of the virus.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has begun virtual testing, where athletes receive kits and administer either blood or urine sample collection in their homes.