The ITA is coordinating doping control at the FINA World Championships in Budapest ©Getty Images

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has extended its anti-doping programme partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA) until 2023.

Doping control is being coordinated by the ITA at the ongoing FINA World Championships here in Budapest.

The latest agreement, signed by FINA President Husain Al-Musallam and ITA director general Benjamin Cohen during the Extraordinary Congress at the Puskás Aréna, delegates further aspects of FINA's anti-doping programme to the global organisation.

Al-Musallam welcomed the renewal of the contract.

"On behalf of FINA and the entire aquatics family, I am delighted to renew and extend our collaboration with the International Testing Agency," the Kuwaiti official said.

"FINA is completely committed to protecting clean athletes and promoting clean sport.

"Today's agreement with the ITA will help ensure that the field of play is equal for all athletes, and forms part of FINA's wider strategy to fight doping in sport."

FINA's initial partnership with the ITA began in January 2019, and included the global testing body managing FINA's risk assessment, test distribution planning, out-of-competition testing programmes, athlete biological passports and the coordination of the long-term storage and analysis programme.

FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said the agreement with the ITA
FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said the agreement with the ITA "will help ensure that the field of play is equal for all athletes" ©FINA

Since the beginning of 2022, the ITA has managed in-competition testing, therapeutic use exemptions applications and the registered testing pool on behalf of FINA, and supported its investigations and results management activities.

Cohen emphasised the importance of strengthening the partnership between FINA and the ITA.

"We are honoured by the increased trust that one of the largest Olympic Federations puts in the ITA as it shows that our focus on delivering the best independent anti-doping programmes possible can give a large amount of support to any sporting body and help them focus on the development and promotion of their athletes and sport," he said.

"We have worked hard to protect FINA's athletes in the past two years and during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and we will continue to do so throughout this new collaboration period.

"FINA should be commended for the significant reforms they are undertaking, and we look forward to working closely with them and its [Aquatics] Integrity Unit moving forward."

An Aquatics Integrity Unit is set to be operational from January 1, 2023, in place of the FINA Doping Panel, and supporters have claimed that it is independent and more effective.

Elections for the newly-formed body were held at the Extraordinary Congress, with 24 officials having their candidacies approved, including Professor Miguel Cardenal Carro who heads up the Supervisory Council.