A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission report has recommended that Russia should be banned from athletics competition.
The recommendation comes after allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics was closely scrutinized. The sport’s world governing body, the IAAF, were also implicated in the report.
The report said that five athletes and five coaches should be handed lifetime bans for allegedly being involved in the scandal. WADA have also accused Russia of having a "state-supported" doping programme.
The report also criticised the lack of “widespread inaction” taken against athletes who were suspected of doping during the 2012 Olympics in London.
Speaking to the BBC, IAAF president Lord Coe revealed that the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) now have until the end of the week to respond to the allegations.
"I'm not putting in a time frame, but I will do whatever is necessary. This is not a swift road back," he said.
Lord Coe added that he “would look at a range of options, including sanctions”, which could lead to Russia being suspended. However, he refused to jump the gun as he wants to see what Russia have to say before he takes a decision on what repercussions to implement.
“It is the right thing to do to get them to give us an answer,” he said. “I am responsible for the conduct of my sport and I want answers from the Russian Athletics Federation. I am tough enough to defend my sport, but the point I would emphasise is this is not just limited to athletics or Russia.
“We clearly have to understand the full scope of allegations. We will look at ourselves. We will move quickly on this. I want to see a sport which is transparent and accountable and I will do what I can to do that. It will not be a swift road.”
Meanwhile, WADA’s independent commission chairman Dick Pound believes that Russia should be banned from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"One of our hopes is they will volunteer to take the remedial work," he told reporters. "If they don't the outcome may be no Russian track and field athletes in Rio. I hope they recognise it is time to change."
Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko made it clear that all the recommendations made in the WADA report would be fulfilled, but acting head of ARAF, Vadim Zelechenok, insisted that WADA does not have the authority to suspend the country from taking part in the Olympics.
"Any suspension should be discussed at the meeting of the IAAF in November,” he told R-Sport TV station. “It should be proven that any violations were the fault of the federation and not individual sports people. We should be given a chance to clear our names.”