Monday, 01 March 2021 21:39

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Russia is closer to having its suspension from World Athletics for doping offences lifted after the sport's international governing body approved plans for reform.

The 31-page plan is described as a "last chance and urgent attempt" for change after Russia's 2015 suspension.

A number of deadlines for reform have been set for the coming year, including targets for wider drug testing.

World Athletics president Lord Coe called it a "roadmap to rebuild trust".

"This is not the end but the beginning of a long journey, with an incredible amount of work for Rusaf (the Russian Athletics Federation) to do to rebuild trust," said Coe.

No date has been set for Russia's readmittance to World Athletics, but a detailed timeline relating to the sport's governance, funding, anti-doping regime and education of athletes has been set out and is to be monitored.

Among the changes demanded are for policies to be introduced to encourage whistleblowing, measures to "punish those regions resisting change", and to increase athlete input into how the sport is run in the country.

The report says that Rusaf believes it can achieve its targets but also notes that "irreversibly changing a culture will in fact take a generation".

World Athletics also says it will consider whether Russian athletes proven to be clean can take part in the Tokyo Olympics this year, when its council meets on 17 and 18 March.