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IOC sets up Independent Testing Authority in bid to eradicate doping abuse in sports

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided on Thursday to set up an Independent Testing Authority (ITA) as part of its ongoing efforts pursuing "a more robust and independent global Anti-Doping System to protect clean athletes," the IOC said in its statement.

The decision to form a new body within the global organization was made during the IOC Executive Board’s session in South Korea’s PyeongChang on Thursday.

"An Independent Testing Authority (ITA) to be created," the official statement from the world’s governing Olympics body stated.

"The ITA to develop with each respective International Federation an International Test Distribution Plan (ITDP) not only by sport but by discipline," the statement said. "This ITDP to contain a minimum number of tests for every athlete wanting to participate in the World Championships or in the Olympic Games."

"This number to be transparent for each athlete in a discipline of a sport," according to the IOC statement. "Athletes not having the established minimum testing level not to be eligible for World Championships and Olympic Games."

According to the International Olympic Committee, the "ITA board to be restricted to a supervisory role only. The ITA board to have no power to direct or instruct the management of the anti-doping program."

"The ITA board to include representatives from public authorities, the Olympic Movement and WADA as well as elected athlete representatives," the statement added.

IOC spokesman Christian Klaue wrote in his Twitter account earlier in the day that IOC President Thomas Bach invited President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Craig Reedie and head of WADA’s Independent Commission Richard McLaren for talks on allegations on doping abuse in Russian sports.

Beginning last year, Russian athletes were constantly under the gun due to numerous doping abuse accusations. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, conducted an investigation into doping allegations in Russian sports and eventually came up with two parts to the report, the first delivered in July and the second in early December.

Less than two years ago, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation of the activities of RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency), the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9, 2015.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Starting in January 2016, control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).