Banning Russia from international competition after it was accused of being involved in a systematic doping system is not a step the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) would consider, Sebastian Coe has claimed.
Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF), has officially resigned following an investigation broadcast on German television in December, which claimed that up to 99 per cent of Russian athletes used banned drugs and accused him of being involved in a systematic doping system.
Since then, a number of top Russian athletes have been banned, including Olympic 3,000 metres gold medallist Yulia Zaripova, who now faces being stripped of the title she won at London 2012, and 2011 world heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova.
It followed three Russian Olympic race walking champions - Sergei Kirdyapkin, Valery Borchin and Olga Kaniskina - all being banned banned by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) for abnormal indexes of haematological profiles in their biological passports.
There have been widespread calls for Russia to be banned if an independent investigation currently being conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) finds that Russian officials were involved in any sort of doping programme.
But Coe, the double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist, who is standing to replace Lamine Diack as President of the IAAF in August, is confident Russia are tackling the problem.
He claimed he was "pretty proud" and "pretty gratified" with the recent comments of Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who has given assurances that his country's top authorities will continue the battle with doping.
"This is not about tap dancing on the graves of Federations," Coe, currently vice-president of the IAAF, said.
"This is actually about helping those Federations and if you look at the Russian case, Russia has to be front and centre in the development of any sport, and particularly in track and field.
"It is really important that in the next 10, 15, 20 years, that Russia, given its history for the sport and the indelible moments that it has created, is sitting there absolutely as a formidable partner in the delivery of our sport."
Coe also disputed Diack's claims, made in a television interview on Monday (February 16), that the sport is "in crisis" following the doping allegations involving the Russians.
"It depends how you define crisis," said Coe.
"I would say this, wouldn't I, but I do believe it that the vast majority of the sports, the vast majority of the [IAAF] Member Federations are clean and want to go about delivering the sport with integrity, and I know that the journeys I've been on overwhelmingly show that.
"And this is not a widespread crisis in the sport.
"We have been thrown some serious allegations.
"We need to draw all the conclusions and act on them."
The doping scandal also saw Valentin Maslakov resign as chief coach of Russian athletics, a post he had held since 2007, last month.
Vadim Zelichenok, vice-president of the ARAF, will take over from Balakhnichev as President until elections are held within six months of next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
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February 2015: IAAF "confident" Russian race walk head coach Chegin will receive sanction as part of investigation
February 2015: Russian Athletics President to resign over doping scandals