Russia will face its biggest test yet in its bid to convince the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of its genuine commitment to remedying doping problems when Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko meets the IAAF Task Force in Moscow tomorrow.
A delegation led by Rune Andersen, the independent chairperson of the Task Force, has already arrived for two days of meetings and inspections.
It is their first visit to Russia since the IAAF banned the All-Russian Athletic Federation (ARAF) in November in the aftermath of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission publishing allegations of state sponsored doping in the world's largest country.
Unless the ban is lifted, Russia will not be able to compete in athletics at August's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
ARAF must satisfy the IAAF Task Force that they have "met and will continue to meet the Reinstatement Conditions and Verification Criteria set out by the IAAF" the world governing body have claimed, in "order for Russian Athletics to be recommended for IAAF membership following ARAF’s acceptance of their full suspension on November 26".
As well as Andersen, the inspection panel includes Namibia's four time Olympic medallist and IAAF Athletes' Commission chair Frankie Fredericks, also a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Also present will be Canada's Abby Hoffman, a Senior Executive in her country's Ministry of Health, Anna Riccardi, a technical delegate for Rio 2016 who is also head of Team Services Sport and the Olympic Programme Area at the Italian National Olympic Committee, and Oceania Athletics Association President Geoff Gardner, a former Chief Minister, Speaker and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.
One of the conditions for reinstatement is that both the IAAF and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency must be able to carry out drug-testing activities in Russia "effectively and without interference", while the participation of Russian athletes must not jeopardise the integrity of international competitions.
The IAAF has said that Russia must also "clean house" and ensure than none of its directors, officers or staff has any past involvement in doping and that staff who cannot meet this requirement are released.
All of the pending disciplinary cases against Russian athletes and support personnel must be resolved quickly - generally within three months - while the cases involving international level athletes will be prosecuted by the IAAF before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe has claimed the criteria has "left no room for doubt".
Sports Minister Mutko initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed the WADA findings were “assumptions” based on “unverified sources, unconfirmed facts”.
But he has since become more conciliatory and was said to have "committed fully" to WADA's recommendations at a meeting in Frankfurt on November 27.
The Task Force is due to report its findings at the IAAF Council meeting in Cardiff on March 27, with no lifting of Russia's ban possible until after then.
This follows the IAAF Ethics Commission's announcement last week that consultant Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, had been banned for life from the sport for being involved in the bribing of athletes in return for covering up doping scandals.
Ex-IAAF treasurer and All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) President Valentin Balakhnichev was also banned along with long distance running and race-walking coach Alexei Melnikov.
Lamine Diack remains under investigation by French police over alleged involvement.
Another key milestone is expected on Thursday (January 14) when the WADA Independent Commission unveils the second part of its report on doping in Munich.