FISU President Oleg Matytsin (left) signs the agreement alongside Thomas Bach ©FISU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed here between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in order to "formalise an era of closer collaboration".

The agreement, signed between IOC President Thomas Bach and FISU's Russian counterpart Oleg Matytsin during the International Federations (IF) Forum, also seeks to "confirm areas of mutual interest within student sport".

Three specific areas that will drive FISU’s relationship with the IOC moving forward have been highlighted. 

Firstly, both organisations will work to develop a dual career programme to help ensure that athletes’ sporting successes are complemented by academic attainment.

This will serve as the foundation of their careers after their time as elite sportsmen and women, it is hoped.

A second element involves FISU and the IOC "drawing on their respective experience from the Universiades and the Olympic Games to share best practice in sports competition management". 

Thirdly, FISU expects to "maximise the contribution of universities to the Olympic Movement through sports competitions and also through research".

The topic of anti-doping, however, was conspicuous by its absence.

This is despite both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan being at the centre of ongoing investigations into state-sponsored Russian doping in which tainted samples were allegedly switched for clean ones.

More evidence about Russian drug use at both events is expected to be released in the World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned McLaren investigation by mid-December.

FISU officials meet with the IOC President and four vice-presidents during the signing ceremony ©FISU
FISU officials meet with the IOC President and four vice-presidents during the signing ceremony ©FISU

"Today’s MoU signing is a fitting conclusion to what has been a highly rewarding first year as FISU President," said Matytsin.

"This agreement will help deliver a brighter future as FISU and the IOC work together to share expertise and connect young people to the benefits of sport and the values of Olympism. 

"With the continued collaboration of the Olympic Movement, I have no doubt that university sport will play an ever-greater role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders."

Forging a closer relationship with the IOC was hailed as an "integral pillar" of Matytsin’s Presidential election campaign last year.

"The IOC is pleased to partner with FISU and the other organisations that help shape young people’s direct experiences of sport and of friendly international competition," added Bach.

"The IOC acknowledges the important role that FISU plays in the field of education through sport and the leadership of the organisation in the development and promotion of international university sport. 

"FISU and universities play a vital role in using sport to connect young people with the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence. 

"Universities also help ensure that elite athletes are well-rounded individuals who have developed their skills both on and off the field. 

"I am confident that this MoU will mark a long and fruitful collaboration with FISU."

The agreement comes before busy year in 2016, including the Winter Universiade in Almaty from January 29 to February 8 and the Summer Universiade in Taipei from August 19 to 30.