The Russian government has officially approved a national plan to combat doping in sport after the order was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The 36-point document was developed by the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC) that is led by honorary International Olympic Committee member Vitaly Smirnov. The Russian sports ministry that has been accused in the past of being complicit in a state-sponsored doping program at major sporting events like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games will coordinate and conduct the plan.

The IPADC said in the initial proposal that was created in February that the measures should be implemented by the end of the year. It is widely believed that this step by Russia will prove beneficial to doping in Russia following allegations of state-sponsored doping and widespread drug scandals involving the nation.

One of the main features of this new plan will be to take back prize money and awards from those who breach anti-doping rules. The Sports Ministry of Russia, headed up by Olympic gold medalist Pavel Kolobkov, has set up a deadline of October 30 for the implementation of anti-doping legislation that meets international law and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The national plan to combat doping in sport by Russia also features measures associated with allocation of more funds to test Paralympic athletes. It also features creation of agreements with whistleblowers to give legal protection to them in exchange for assisting investigations and preventing those who break anti-doping rules from holding state or non-state posts in physical culture and sports. The Russian sports ministry will focus on the establishment of a legal framework in a bid to restore reputation of the country and its place within the anti-doping movement.

A statement from the Russian Government read the order approved a set of measures aimed at preventing and combating doping in Russian sport, which, in particular, provides the normative legal, organizational, scientific and biomedical support activities in this area, the creation of innovative methods and information technologies to prevent doping, the development of appropriate educational programs interaction with international sports organizations.

The sports ministry of Russia is hopeful that its efforts will assist both the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Paralympic Committee in their reinstatement efforts. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency remains non-compliant with WADA and the Russian Paralympic Committee is still suspended by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Russian Anti-Doping Agency recently overcame a major hurdle on its path to potential reinstatement when the World Anti-Doping Agency allowed them to resume testing last month. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency was granted permission to “plan and coordinate” testing, providing it is carried out under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). WADA President Sir Craig Reedie had then remarked WADA recognizes this milestone as a key component of the roadmap towards compliance while there is still more to be done. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been non-compliant since November 2015 ever since findings of the WADA Independent Commission emerged in the context of state-sponsored doping by Russia in athletics.

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