Head of Russia's scandal-hit anti-doping agency resigns

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MOSCOW (AP) — The head of Russia's anti-doping agency has resigned, less than a month after the organization was suspended following the publication of a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report which accused it of covering up doping by the country's athletes.

The Russian Sports Ministry said that RUSADA director general Ramil Khabriev's resignation was accepted Thursday at a meeting of RUSADA's founders, which are Russian sports bodies and government-backed organizations.

There will also be a new supervisory board for RUSADA as "to keep track of RUSADA's activity and serve as a guarantee of its independence," the ministry said, adding that figures from "various professions" with no links to sports had been chosen for the new board. No details of the board members were provided.

Khabriev's departure comes during a visit by a WADA delegation tasked with ensuring drug testing continues during RUSADA's suspension.

"The testing program for athletes in Russia needs to be formulated and put into practice," WADA said in a brief statement.

British experts from the UK Anti-Doping Agency have also been asked to assist WADA in setting up a new testing system for Russian sports.

"UKAD has been asked by WADA to be part of an evaluation visit to Russia to support WADA explore the ways and means of how an anti-doping program can be run during a period of non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code," UKAD said in a statement.

"This is an initial meeting and therefore we will not make any further comment at this time until any scope of UKAD's involvement has been determined."

The ministry said UKAD would be "a partner" for RUSADA on planning and testing. That will include appointing foreign companies to handle sample collection in Russia, ministry adviser Nataliya Zhelanova told Russia's Tass agency.

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