Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, left, met with WADA President Witold Bańka, right, in Brasília ©WADA

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Bańka and director general Olivier Niggli have met with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and leading Argentinian officials on a visit to South America.

This was aimed at promoting collaboration and unity with anti-doping partners and Government officials, with Polish official Bańka and Swiss national Niggli joined by director of National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) and Regional Anti-Doping Organisation relations Tom May and director of WADA's Latin America office María José Pesce Cutri.

The WADA contingent met with Brazilian Olympic Committee President Paulo Wanderley and members of the Athletes' Commission in Rio de Janeiro, emphasising the importance for the global body to be athlete-centred in its work.

They then met with Brazil's President Lula, who previously served two terms between 2003 and 2010 in which he led Rio de Janeiro's successful bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and pipped far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in last year's election.

Brazilian Minister for Sports Ana Moser and Brazilian Authority for Doping Control were also present in Brasília.

Those in attendance discussed the importance of funding, build the NADO's knowledge and capacity, WADA-accredited laboratory development and education initiatives.

Bańka said that "Brazil is one of the great sporting nations of the world", and said the discussions were "productive".

Moser welcomed the opportunity to meet with the WADA officials.

"It was very important for the Ministry of Sports to welcome Mr Bańka and the WADA delegation this week," she said.

"The guidance, partnership and support of the World Anti-Doping Agency will be essential for us to continue to strengthen the National Anti-Doping Policy.

"I am sure that Brazil will continue to be a protagonist in the fight for clean sport."

WADA officials then travelled to Buenos Aires to meet with Argentine Olympic Committee President Mario Moccia, vice-president Alicia Morea and Athletes' Commission, and separately with NADO representatives including President Diego Grippo, Minister of Tourism and Sports Matías Lammens and national secretary of sports Inés Arrondo.

Bańka praised the Argentinian Government for it support of anti-doping initiatives.

"WADA has always had a good relationship with Argentina," he said.

"The Government continues to take steps to support anti-doping through the hosting of various regional seminars, including the upcoming Latin America education seminar scheduled in a couple of weeks.

"In our discussions with the authorities, we stressed the importance of increasing the financial resources provided to the Argentinian NADO to ensure it is implementing a quality anti-doping programme in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code."

Lammens said the meetings were "enriching and informative" and would "undoubtedly contribute to even closer working relations between Argentinian sports community and the anti-doping movement".

Brazil's NADO had a brief period of non-compliance after Rio 2016 from November of that year until April 2017, and Argentina's NADO was reinstated in February 2016 after being declared non-compliant in November 2015.