Russia’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said his Government department is willing to support RUSADA ©Getty Images

Russia’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has said his Government department is "ready to assist" the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in its efforts to be re-instated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Matytsin said the troubled agency was "completely independent in its work" but added the Ministry of Sports was willing to provide support during a meeting of the Government’s commission on International Convention against Doping in Sport, as reported by Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

RUSADA was declared non-compliant by WADA in December 2019 after the country was found to have manipulated doping data at the Moscow Laboratory.

WADA had imposed a four-year package of punishments on Russia before the period of sanctions was cut to two years last December following an appeal by RUSADA.

In June, WADA provided RUSADA with a compliance recovery plan - set to be implemented in mid-December 2022.

It is hoped the plan will help RUSADA regain compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

"We always assume that RUSADA is completely independent in its work," said Matytsin in a report by TASS.

"At the same time, the Ministry is ready to assist RUSADA in fulfilling its obligations under the recovery plan.

"These issues were discussed in detail during my meeting with the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Witold Bańka in Istanbul in September."

Matytsin held talks with Bańka in what was the first high-level meeting between the two since the country was banned by WADA.

WADA President Witold Bańka met with Russia’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin last month ©Getty Images
WADA President Witold Bańka met with Russia’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin last month ©Getty Images

It was agreed that they would work together to ensure Russia is ready to return to full compliance when the suspension is lifted at the end of next year.

Matytsin assured Bańka that Russia will continue its policy of ensuring the operational and financial independence of RUSADA, one of the key conditions for RUSADA to be fully reinstated by WADA.

"The need for RUSADA to retain its independence is critical," said Bańka following his meeting with Matytsin in September.

"There must be no attempt by the Russian state or sporting authorities to interfere with any of its operations."

Under the sanctions issued by WADA and watered down by CAS, Russia will not be able to host, or be granted the right to stage, any major events during the two-year suspension.

Russia's flag and anthem were at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with athletes competing as neutrals representing the Russian Olympic Committee, as they will do so again at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Matytsin has recently been praised for adopting a strong stance in Russia against doping - a situation he believes is an issue for nations across the world.

"The problem with doping is not a problem of individual countries, it is a global task for the entire sports community," said Matytsin in another report by TASS.

Matytsin was speaking during a meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Siyjarto who was attending the Russian Energy Week forum.

According to TASS, both Ministers agreed on the principle of collective guilt in the use of doping by athletes.