HAVANA (AP) _ Cuba and the United States have agreed to improve sports relations, the first arrangement of this kind between the nations since Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

The agreement was signed Saturday by the heads of the two Olympics committees _ William Hybl of the United States and Jose Ramon Fernandez of Cuba.

Cuba's Prensa Latina news service said the accord is aimed at promoting training and competition while attempting to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Hybl, who visited the island in 1991 for the Pan American Games, was in Cuba at the invitation of the country's sports authorities. He also met with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

The United States will nearly 600 athletes to the Olympics in Sydney in September. Cuba will send about 250.