The WBSC and International Testing Agency have renewed and extended their partnership ©Getty Images

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has signed a contract with the International Testing Agency (ITA), extending the work that has been done since the first collaboration in January 2020.

The world governing body will be increasing the delegation of its anti-doping programme to the ITA after deciding to extend its collaboration with the organisation.

The renewed contract includes anti-doping activities that the ITA has previously managed for the WBSC and introduces a new collaboration for the education of baseball and softball athletes.

This will be managed entirely by the ITA to ensure full compliance with the new World Anti-Doping Agency’s International Standard for Education, which has been in force since last month.

The ITA will remain responsible for out-of-competition testing, risk assessment, test distribution planning, Athlete Biological Passport administration, the management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions, results management and whereabouts failures.

The renewed contract between WBSC and the International Testing Agency will increase athlete education measures ©Getty Images
The renewed contract between WBSC and the International Testing Agency will increase athlete education measures ©Getty Images

The education activities prepared for the WBSC by the ITA will ensure that baseball and softball players - and especially youth athletes - will continue their clean sport education despite the current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With baseball and softball due to be featured at the Olympics for the first time since 2008 at Tokyo 2020, the ITA will "ensure a harmonised and intelligence-led anti-doping programme for the WBSC throughout the year and all future Summer Games".

"We are very pleased that the WBSC has renewed its partnership with the ITA," said ITA director general Benjamin Cohen.

"This is a real sign of confidence in our work and expertise.

"I wish to commend the WBSC for embracing the Olympic Movement’s decision to delegate anti-doping operations to the ITA, and thus ensuring independence and harmonisation in global anti-doping efforts.

"We look forward to protecting all baseball and softball players in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics and beyond."

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari added: "The WBSC is fully committed to safeguarding baseball and softball’s clean athletes and the integrity of the game.

"The renewed partnership with a world-leading agency like the ITA reflects this.

"We have recently created a WBSC Integrity Unit to improve several areas and we are confident that the collaboration with ITA will continue to make an important contribution in this critically important aspect of the sport."