Tamara Shashikhina will lead the RUSADA Supervisory Board ©Getty Images

Tamara Shashikhina has been named chair of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Supervisory Board, while Mikhail Bukhanov’s term as acting chief executive could be extended for up to six months.

Shashikhina’s appointment was confirmed at the first meeting of RUSADA’s new Supervisory Board, which was held virtually.

Shashikhina, who currently serves as director of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, was among the appointments to the RUSADA Supervisory Board in December, alongside lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Natalia Sokolova.

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

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

Chekhonin was selected to serve as the vice-chair.

Changes to the Supervisory Board were required ahead of the 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.

The changes also saw the Russian Bar Association and the International Centre for Health Protection become the founding members of the organisation, with the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) required to relinquish their roles.

WADA had previously expressed concern over the independence of RUSADA due to the ROC and RPC oversight of the organisation.

The first meeting of the Supervisory Board reportedly saw a decision taken to propose extending Bukhanov’s tenure as RUSADA acting chief executive for six months.

A decision could be approved in a general meeting of RUSADA members, which should be held no later than February 28.

Mikhail Bukhanov could see his tenure as RUSADA acting chief executive extended by six months ©Getty Images
Mikhail Bukhanov could see his tenure as RUSADA acting chief executive extended by six months ©Getty Images

"We are grateful to Tamara Shashikhina for agreeing to head the Supervisory Board during this difficult period for the agency," said Bukhanov, according to state-run news agency TASS.

"We listened to and took into account all the wishes of the members of the Supervisory Board, discussed the report on the results of RUSADA's activities for 2020.

"The members of the Supervisory Board expressed constructive wishes regarding the current activities of RUSADA, expressed their intentions to support and assist in all areas of RUSADA's operations.

"As for the extension of the powers of the acting chief executive, this decision was dictated, first of all, by the need to ensure compliance with all corporate procedures and continuity of the work process, which is no less important."

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

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

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 in December 2019 after the country was found to have manipulated data at the Moscow Laboratory.

WADA's Executive Committee approved four-year 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.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the period of sanctions to two years in December.