RUSADA has set a deadline of March 31 for director general applications ©Getty Images

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has set a deadline of March 31 for officials to apply for the position of director general as the organisation begins its search to find the successor to Yuri Ganus.

The application process for one of the most senior roles at RUSADA opened yesterday.

RUSADA is looking for a new director general following the sacking of Ganus in August, a decision criticised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

It has since been led by acting director general Mikhail Bukhanov.

"In accordance with the decision of the Supervisory Board of RUSADA, from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, a competition is being held to fill the position of RUSADA's general director," RUSADA said in a statement.

More than 700 people applied for the position in 2017, before Ganus was appointed in August of that year.

RUSADA has started the process to find Yuri Ganus' successor as director general ©Getty Images
RUSADA has started the process to find Yuri Ganus' successor as director general ©Getty Images

Ganus was dismissed after a recommendation from the RUSADA Supervisory Board, following an audit which allegedly revealed a "number of significant irregularities in the financial and economic activities" of the organisation.

Ganus oversaw WADA's controversial reinstatement of RUSADA after it was declared non-compliant in 2015.

RUSADA was again declared non-compliant by WADA last December after the country was found to have manipulated data at the Moscow Laboratory.

WADA said it was "extremely concerned" by the recommendation to dismiss Ganus and warned his sacking could impact the Russian agency's bid for reinstatement.

RUSADA has also revealed its latest testing figures, claiming it had managed to meet its annual targets ahead of schedule.

"As of November 30, for 11 months of 2020, RUSADA selected 7,644 samples with a target annual rate of 7,500 samples," Bukhanov told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"We are very pleased that the indicators were met. 

"The initial planned volume was higher - 11,000 samples but it should be borne in mind that by order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, we reduced costs by 10 per cent, which forced us to reduce testing plans.

"The pandemic significantly complicated the logistics, and the spring-summer period was marked by a long halt in testing."