The ITA has signed landmark partnerships with two regional anti-doping organisations ©ITA

The International Testing Agency (ITA) has entered into its first collaboration agreements with regional anti-doping organisations (RADOs).

New partnerships with the Central Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADOCA) and the Pan American Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (PAN RADO) aim to facilitate the sharing of intelligence and information and more efficient planning of doping controls in those regions.

There will also be collaboration in the area of anti-doping education.

The World Anti-Doping Agency created the RADO programme in 2004 to strengthen the protection of athletes in regions where countries organise their anti-doping efforts within regional conglomerates.

There are currently 12 RADOs bringing together 119 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and Oceania.

RADOCA is responsible for promoting and co-ordinating clean sport efforts for its eight member countries in Central Asia - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

It was founded by the National Olympic Committees and Government representatives of its member countries in 2006 and is headquartered in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

PAN RADO, based in Panama, was established in 2015 to lead the anti-doping efforts for its member countries Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Puerto Rico.

International Testing Agency director general Benjamin Cohen said the ITA was very pleased to secure partnerships with PAN RADO and RADOCA ©Getty Images
International Testing Agency director general Benjamin Cohen said the ITA was very pleased to secure partnerships with PAN RADO and RADOCA ©Getty Images

"We are very pleased to welcome PAN RADO and RADOCA as partners for clean sport and to collaborate with them more closely in the future," said ITA director general Benjamin Cohen.

"Both of these organisations represent groups of countries that are very relevant to the sports we oversee.

"With these partnerships, we can test more effectively in these regions to the benefit of both the RADOs we partner with and the ITA’s independent programmes for International Federations and Major Event Organisers.

"In addition, information sharing between anti-doping organisations is critical to the success of doping offence investigations."

Venera Abdulla, RADOCA director, added: "The RADOCA focuses its efforts on building anti-doping capacity and strengthening of the anti-doping programmes in RADOCA member countries.

"But achievement of these main objectives is not possible without developing fruitful partnerships with other Anti-Doping Organisations.

"RADOCA is proud of signing a collaboration agreement with ITA which will help the RADO as well the National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) in the Central Asia region to unite their efforts in protecting the rights of clean athletes."

Manuel Villalobos, executive manager of PAN RADO, added: "PAN-RADO continues to strengthen ties between the countries of the region and working hard in the fight against doping.

"Our goal remains valid as an organisation in making member countries feel supported. We feel really pleased and satisfied to create this collaboration agreement with ITA to fulfil this purpose."

The ITA has already established bilateral collaboration agreements with over 30 NADOs and has partnered with 10 RADOs over the past years.