The new testing agency has been held up for months by rows over costs
Former senior police officer David Kenworthy has been appointed the first chair of the newly-founded United Kingdom Anti-Doping agency (Ukad).
Ukad will take on the testing work currently done by UK Sport.
Mr Kenworthy spent 35 years in the force, reaching the rank of chief constable, before retiring in 2002.
He will work with a yet-to-be appointed chief executive and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to help shape the organisation.
"We want Ukad to be a world-class organisation that will lead the way in anti-doping in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond," said Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.
"As chair, David will play a crucial role in making that happen.
"His vast police experience will help us with information sharing across law enforcement agencies and sports bodies, intensifying the fight against drug cheats who have no place in sport."