New Zealand sport and recreation minister Jonathan Coleman has called for moves to strengthen the global body responsible for anti-doping regulation.
"The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has an important role in setting the rules and ensuring they are followed around the world," says Dr Coleman, who attended the WADA Foundation Board meeting in Montréal today as a public authority representative for Oceania.
"We need to bolster WADA's ability to operate as an effective regulator on the world stage, by ensuring it has the appropriate level of oversight to carry out its mandate and more tools to deal with non-compliant organisations.
"WADA needs stronger support from stakeholders, including governments and the sport movement, to level the playing field.
"It's very important that steps are taken when national anti-doping organisations are found to be non-compliant. The longer an organisation remains non-compliant the greater the issues will be."
Dr Coleman also noted that more progress needs to be made for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be deemed compliant with WADA standards.
"RUSADA has been non-compliant since November 2015 and needs to make further progress in addressing the problems identified," says Dr Coleman.
"WADA is doing all it can to assist RUSADA, but it's vital that the international sporting community can be confident that the issues detailed extensively last year in the McLaren reports are addressed.
"It is crucial that a regime of sanctions is in place in cases where an anti-doping organisation is found to be non-complaint."
"This needs to be in place before the Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. The IOC and governments need to support appropriate sanctions against organisations and athletes from countries where there is systemic non-compliance with the WADA code."
Established in 1999, WADA comprises representatives from the sport movement and national governments. One of its key activities is to monitor the World Anti-Doping Code, which harmonises anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries.