RUSADA has appointed a new Supervisory Board ©Getty Images

A new Supervisory Board has been appointed by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) at the organisation’s general meeting.

Changes were required to the Supervisory Board prior to the new World Anti-Doping Code coming into effect on January 1.

The updated Code prohibits representatives from sporting organisations to serve as members of a national anti-doping agency.

RUSADA said the Russian Bar Association and the International Centre for Health Protection will now become the founding members of the organisation, with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) required to relinquish their roles.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had previously expressed concern over the independence of RUSADA due to the ROC and RPC oversight of the organisation.

This came to a head when the RUSADA Supervisory Board sacked its director general Yuri Ganus back in August.

Lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Natalia Sokolova are among the new Supervisory Board members, along with Tamara Shashikhina, director of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Professor Vitaly Vinogradov of the Russian State University for the Humanities, and Sergey Ilyukov, an independent anti-doping expert recommended by WADA, also feature on the new Board.

Vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Chekhonin and cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky are the only two members of the previous Supervisory Board to retain their places.

The Russian Olympic Committee will no longer be a founding member of RUSADA ©Getty Images
The Russian Olympic Committee will no longer be a founding member of RUSADA ©Getty Images

"Major changes have taken place in the Agency's Supervisory Board and the composition of its members, which were necessary for RUSADA to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code from January 1, 2021," said Mikhail Bukhanov, acting RUSADA director general.

"On the one hand, the changes are truly global.

"On the other hand, I am practically sure that they will not affect the effectiveness of the agency's work in any way.

"We strive to meet the highest standards in all areas of our activity - this is evidenced by both the volume of testing and the number of educational events held.

"However, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

"We hope that we will be able to realize all our plans for 2021."

Bukhanov added that a new head of the Supervisory Board will be determined next month, with Alexander Ivlev having left his position.

Bukhanov has also declared his intention to serve as RUSADA director general on a permanent basis, having been appointed in an acting capacity following Ganus’ dismissal.

RUSADA opened applications earlier this month for the position, with a March 31 deadline set.

"I plan to participate in the competition," Bukhanov told Russian state news agency TASS.

"But I have the same rights as the other candidates.

"I would like to continue my work as general director.

"If the general meeting considers another candidate worthy, then I will continue my legal practice."

RUSADA began its search for a successor to the sacked Yuri Ganus as director general earlier this month ©Getty Images
RUSADA began its search for a successor to the sacked Yuri Ganus as director general earlier this month ©Getty Images

Former RUSADA director general 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.

Last month, Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearings in the case between the WADA and RUSADA were heard.

RUSADA is appealing a four-year package of sanctions WADA handed down to Russia in December 2019 following alleged manipulation of Moscow Laboratory data.

Chief among the sanctions is a ban on Russia's flag appearing at both the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympics, while the country would also be prohibited from bidding for any World Championships for four years and could be stripped of ones it has been awarded.

CAS anticipates its Arbitral Panel, which is now deliberating the case, will reach a decision by the end of 2020.

WADA's Executive Committee approved the severe sanctions after an investigation found data from the Moscow Laboratory was intentionally altered both before and when it was forensically copied by WADA in January 2019.

The sanctions, approved in December 2019, included declaring RUSADA non-compliant again.