Rahul Gupta, right, has joined the WADA Foundation Board ©Witold Bańka/Twitter

Doctor Rahul Gupta has joined the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board prior to its meeting tomorrow after becoming director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the US Government entity that has been highly critical of the global watchdog in recent years.

Gupta's appointment to the role was confirmed by the Senate in October and he was sworn in last week.

The Indian-born medical doctor, the first physician to serve in the ONDCP position, immediately assumes the US' place on the 38-member Foundation Board.

Gupta, who replaces James Carroll, held a meeting with WADA President Witold Bańka here this week, which the Polish official described as "productive".

Relations between the US and WADA have been strained and the country has refused to pay its full annual dues this year after raising concern over the organisation's governance reform.

Richard Baum, the White House coordinator for doping in sport, told the Senate earlier this year that the US was paying WADA $1.6 million (£1.2 million/€1.4 million) of its $2.9 million (£2.1 million/€2.5 million).

Baum said the remaining amount was dependent on "transformation" of WADA amid US criticism of the global watchdog and the slow speed of its reforms.

WADA and the US, one of the organisation's largest benefactors, have been at loggerheads for more than two years.

The US has angered WADA by pushing through an act which gives the nation the power to prosecute individuals for doping schemes at international sports competitions involving American athletes, broadcasters and sponsors, named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

The US has consistently criticised WADA for an alleged lack of independence and "conflicts of interest", threatening to withhold funding if the watchdog does not reform itself.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli claimed in July that the US opposition was "maybe driven by a few individuals who have certain views on the matter".

Further governance reforms are set to be presented to the Foundation Board here tomorrow, which WADA believes will lead to the US paying its full dues.

WADA will also be hopeful Gupta assuming the ONDCP role will spark a shift in its relations with the US.