The International Amateur Athletics Federation has suspended Russian athletes from all competitions indefinitely, with immediate effect. It raises the prospect of Russia missing out on the 2016 Brazil Olympics.
The move followed a declaration by the International Anti-Doping agency that said Russia’s facilities and protocols for tackling drugs cheats in sport were unfit for purpose and did not conform to international WADA norms.
The IAAF came to the decision after a more than two-hour meeting from which leaks soon made it clear that the Russians were going to be heavily penalised for the exposure of a performance-enhancing drugs system that appears to have survived intact from Soviet times.
The Russians said on Friday that they would do everything to ensure Russian athletics conformed to WADA norms, even if that meant mass sackings in sports administrations. President Vladimir Putin has also backed a clean-up of Russian sports.