Vladimir Putin has called for an investigation into allegations of systemic doping within Russian athletics, admitting it is a "pressing issue which requires unending attention".
Earlier, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach admitted claims International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack took bribes from athletes in order to manipulate sporting competitions was "shocking" and something he could "never have imagined".
Putin, issuing his first direct response since the World-Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) damning 323-page report was published on Monday (November 11), called for the investigation during a meeting with the heads of Russian National Federation chiefs.
He ordered Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and "all colleagues connected with sport" to cooperate fully with international anti-doping bodies and conduct an internal investigation.
"The struggle with doping in sports, unfortunately, remains a pressing issue and it requires unending attention," he said.
It marked the first example of a Russian official admitting the severity of the reports rather than hitting back and criticising those who had made the claims, as Mutko and other have.
Putin warned, however, against implicating clean athletes, claiming how "it's absolutely clear that athletes who stay away from doping...shouldn't be held responsible."
"The IAAF will have to deal with its member Federations.
"It's not for the IOC, we have no authority.
"But we are in contact, we are assisting and we are encouraging."
Bach did not directly answer questions on whether he had discussed the situation with Putin, or say whether he planned to in the future.
"We are in contact with the Russian Olympic Committee, which is not mentioned in the report," he said.
"They are our partners.
"We will discuss with them the issue, and in this way try to assist and encourage the ROC to play its role in cleaning up the situation."
Bach did, though, criticise Diack, who resigned as an honorary member of the IOC today.
French police are currently investigating the 82-year-old Senegalese over allegations he took bribes to cover up positive drugs tests involving Russian athletics when he was President of the IAAF.
"This was shocking and very saddening news," Bach said.
"I could never have imagined that in an IF (International Federation), the leadership would solicit in bribes from athletes in order to manipulate sports competitions.
"This is unbelievable and makes everyone who loves sport extremely sad."
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November 2015: Head of Moscow laboratory quits after identified in WADA report as key figure in doping scandal
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