David Owen at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo

Sergey Bubka has called for an urgent investigation of the Russian doping allegations ©Getty ImagesSergey Bubka, the former pole-vaulter who is vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), is urging a rapid and thorough investigation of the allegations of systematic doping among Russian athletes in a recent German television documentary.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from Ukraine, who is expected to run next year for the IAAF Presidency, told insidethegames here that he had met Lamine Diack, the body's current President, and underlined the need for urgent action on this matter.

The 60-minute programme, broadcast by ARD on Wednesday (December 3), made a number of allegations that Russian officials systematically accepted payment from athletes to supply banned substances and cover up tests.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responded by promising to investigate the claims, along with the IAAF, which has already referred a number of the allegations to its independent Ethics Commission.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has dismissed the allegations as being aimed at humiliating Russian sport.

"Based on some individual case, they want to show some kind of system and the state's interest in it, to belittle Russian sport," Mutko told R-Sport news agency.

"Of course I don't like this, because we have taken a journey in the opposite direction."

The IOC has emphasised its own determination to deal quickly with the allegations, while also stressing the need for due process.

Bubka, both an honorary member of the IOC Athletes' Commission and chair of the IOC Entourage Commission, is expected soon to announce his intention of running against two-time Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe in what would be a true heavyweight contest for the IAAF Presidency.

Bubka recently took to Twitter to congratulate Coe on his announcement and to say he would make his own plans public "in due time".

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