RUSADA has received more powers from the Ministry of Sports ©Getty Images

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will be given authority to approve anti-doping rules in the country, taking this responsibility away from the Ministry of Sports, as the country looks to make reforms to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, the Russian Bar Association (AJUR) - which is a founder of RUSADA - announced the change.

"The Government Commission for Legislative Activities approved the initiative of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, according to which RUSADA will be able to approve anti-doping rules," said AJUR in the statement.

"The approval of the all-Russian anti-doping rules was previously the prerogative of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation."

It is a step forward for Russian sport, with the World Anti-Doping Agency reminding that RUSADA was still not compliant with the Code and until such time, could not guarantee a return to sport or without restrictions.

RUSADA will oversee changes to anti-doping rules in Russia, instead of the state ©Getty Images
RUSADA will oversee changes to anti-doping rules in Russia, instead of the state ©Getty Images

"This initiative brings Russian legislation into line with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code," added AJUR executive director Elena Spiridonova. 

"The change cannot be called technical: in fact, the proposed project raises the status of RUSADA. 

"The new powers will help the agency build a more effective anti-doping system in sports.

"RUSADA continues to do its best to restore the status of compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

"To ensure the right of athletes to doping-free competitions, RUSADA implements a national anti-doping programme, adhering to its main principles - operational independence and full compliance with international standards."

Russian athletes have had one layer of suspensions lifted recently, being allowed the return of the national flag, anthem and name from December 17.

It came from a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling, which halved World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) initial sanction to two years, due to the nation's cover-up of state-sponsored doping.

Even though the CAS sanctions - which meant athletes had to compete neutrally and the country could not host major sporting events - have ended, the ongoing sanctions against Russia related to the war in Ukraine mean athletes continue to be prohibited from representing their nation on the global stage.

insidethegames has approached WADA for a comment.