France has finally moved to bring its anti-doping rules into line with the new World Anti-Doping Code.
The 2024 Summer Olympic host used a Ministerial order presented in Cabinet last week to transpose the Code's provisions into national law.
The move comes in the wake of the dispatch of a Corrective Action Report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) earlier this year.
This is thought to have given France three months to regularise its position.
WADA told insidethegames on today that it was "reviewing the text of the legislation to ensure it is in line" with the revised Code.
Among a number of changes, the new instrument is said to ensure that decisions taken by any non-French Code signatory, such as a foreign anti-doping agency, will automatically be applicable in France.
It also outlines the conditions of the transfer of the French anti-doping laboratory, which until now has been attached to the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), to the University of Paris-Saclay.
This is said to be in line with the demand that labs be entirely independent.
France has been far from alone in the sluggishness with which it has moved to align its rules with the new Code, which was approved in November 2019.
Last month, insidethegames revealed that fewer than four in 10 European National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) had amended their rules in line with the new Code by the time it came into effect in January.
While it would certainly be true to say that, with the coronavirus pandemic raging, Governments have had other urgent priorities throughout 2020 and beyond, it is also the case that Europe's record of 37 per cent of NADOs being in line with the new Code as at the end of last year was significantly worse than any other region.
Asian NADOs were at that time the next-worst at 48 per cent, followed by Oceania at 53 per cent, Africa at 58 per cent and the Americas - an outstanding 95 per cent.
WADA has now told insidethegames exclusively that 39 of the 53 European NADOs - equivalent to 74 per cent - are "confirmed as being in line".
The agency said it was "working hard with the remainder to ensure they all update their rules as quickly as possible".