Members of the ICF Congress backed the "Fit for Future" strategy and agreed to move the body's in-house drug testing to the International Testing Agency ©ICF

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has agreed to transfer its in-house drug testing to the International Testing Agency (ITA).

The proposal was unanimously backed at the ICF Congress in Pattaya in Thailand, with the global governing body insisting the decision will help to strengthen its fight against doping.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko said working with the ITA was a "natural next step" for the sport.

Members of the ICF Congress also unanimously supported an "athletes’ rights charter" and a blueprint designed to "futureproof paddle sports".

Bridgitte Hartley, chair of the ICF Athletes Committee, urged the Congress to embrace the declaration of athlete rights and responsibilities to ensure the paddling community has a stronger voice.

The declaration was developed by athletes to tackle issues including integrity and clean sport, governance and communication, careers, safeguarding and competition.

The ICF's "Fit For Future" strategy was also backed at the Congress after it was presented by vice-president Cecilia Farias.

Athlete safety and wellbeing, governance, maximizing synergies, global development, sustainability, brand marketing and communication, competitions and revenue generation are the pillars that underpin the strategy.

The ICF says the eight pillars are "integral to the future growth of canoe sports around the world" and comes after several months of consultations with outside experts, national federations and other key stakeholders.

Farias stressed that the Fit for Future plan was not a finished product but added that it was a document that could be constantly updated to adapt to changes within paddle sports.