Thomas Bach said he appreciated discussions with ROC President Alexander Zhukov ©Getty Images

Thomas Bach says he is "confident" the measures proposed by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the wake of the country's athletics doping scandal will allow them to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President hopes that Russia's tarnished sporting reputation will be repaired "as soon as possible" following a meeting with ROC President Alexander Zhukov. 

Russia was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday after a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report revealed allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping.

That decision puts the participation of Russian athletes in Rio into doubt but this is a scenario Bach is clearly keen to avoid.

In a statement released today, the IOC outlined action points Bach and Zhukov had agreed upon following discussions about WADA's findings.

These didn't go into much detail as both men tried to air a feeling of positivity against the backdrop of the scandal.

One action point will see the ROC "coordinate all efforts in Russia to address the issues mentioned in the Independent Commission Report" with a view to making the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) compliant with the WADA code and anti-doping regulations.

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov says his country is determined to compete at Rio 2016
Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov says his country is determined to compete at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

This would mean making the The Moscow Centre for Sports Technology - the laboratory at the centre of cover-up and sample destruction allegations - WADA compliant and Zhukov has pledged that this would be achieved as "soon as possible".

Meanwhile, the ROC has also proposed an overhaul of the now suspended All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) and has promised that all officials and coaches implicated in doping will be held responsible and sanctioned in accordance with international regulations.

Clean athletes will be protected, Zhukov says, while the ROC will also "ensure the coordination of the already ongoing thorough investigation by the national authorities in Russia with respective international organisations, including WADA and the IAAF."

Zhukov has also backed calls to make the anti-doping system independent from sports organisations, which he says should be run by WADA.

Bach himself has led the push for a fully independent body, which would be responsible for sanctioning as well as testing, to remove the possible influence of anyone with a vested interest against positive drug tests being detected.

However, doubts have been voiced about the feasibility of such a body due to the increase in funding WADA would require.

“I welcome the fact that the ROC expressed its firm commitment to protect the clean athletes, and to sanction all the doped athletes and officials,” said Bach.

“I appreciated very much the openness of the discussion and welcomed the fact that the Russian Olympic Committee will play the leading role.

"We are confident that the initiatives being proposed by the ROC, with the responsible international organisations, WADA and the IAAF, will ensure compliance as soon as possible in order to provide participation of the clean Russian athletes at the Olympic Games."

Zhukov, also the chairman of the IOC's Evaluation Commission, added: “The Russian Olympic Committee is determined that the clean athletes should compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"Anyone found guilty of using illegal drugs or anyone who facilitated or was complicit in their use must be punished.”

Russia's sports minister Vitaly Mutko had previously claimed that the country's suspension was "only temporary" while ARAF President Vadim Zelichenok argued that it was "too severe".

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