Russian athletes face being barred from Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

Russia has been given an indication of what it must achieve in order to see its suspension by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) overturned - with the body's President Sebastian Coe calling for a "robust" inspection of the scandal-hit country.

The IAAF's ruling council voted 22-1 in favour of banning Russia last week in wake of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report which revealed widespread "state-supported" doping and cover-ups.

Now, the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) will have to convince an IAAF Inspection Team that it is worthy of being reinstated, with athletes' participation at next summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro currently under threat.

Their qualification for membership will be verified by the Inspection Team, and based upon criteria that will be decided by the IAAF after consultation with WADA.

Today the IAAF have revealed the "principles" by which this criteria will be drawn up, which includes "immediate corrective and disciplinary measures" for anyone who has committed an anti-doping offence or engaged in any kind of intentional act of complicity in connection with the doping scheme identified by the Independent Commission.

"The verification criteria must be robust otherwise the inspection process will fail," said Coe.

"Repeating past failings which have brought ARAF to their current position is not an option.

"To succeed this process must guarantee a level playing field and thereby re-establish confidence in the integrity of competition.”

Sebastian Coe said repeating past failings was
Sebastian Coe said repeating past failings was "not an option" for Russia ©Getty Images

A second principle insists that an "effective and operational anti-doping framework" must be established in Russia, where suspected anti-doping violations and related misconduct can be adequately reported, analysed and followed-up.

Ensuring that athletes can safely tip-off those who are central to the Russian doping system without serious consequences for them will also be a part of this principle.

Meanwhile, "structural and regulatory reforms to deter and reduce existing incentives to engage in doping" will need to be made, including the possibility of the distribution and trafficking of prohibiting substances being criminalised under Russian law.

Identifying and addressing the different incentives and other factors currently used to incentivise doping conduct in Russia is also important, as is revising the contract system with the country's coaches.

A robust, transparent and efficient anti-doping testing programme, which would include increasing anti-doping knowledge among Russian athletes and coaches through an education programme and increasing "transparency" of the national testing programme, is also listed as a priority.

WADA and the IAAF must also be satisfied that Russia are code-compliant, with such compliance to be verified by the Inspection Team on an on-going basis over a designated minimum time-frame prior to the lifting of the suspension.

The principles are subject to change and will be presented to the IAAF Council for discussion next week in Monaco, before the consultation with WADA.

When the criteria has been finalised, the Inspection Team's terms of reference and schedule will be established and discussions will be made with the ARAF on practical and logistical arrangements, which will include talks on how the team will carry out its work in Russia.

It is planned that the team will begin the verification process no later than January 1, with a first report hoped to be available for the IAAF Council at their meeting in Cardiff on March 27.

The team will be headed by independent Norwegian chair Rune Andersen, an anti-doping expert, and he will be joined by Abby Hoffman, Anna Riccardi, Frankie Fredericks and Geoff Gardner.

“The establishment of these guiding principles with the approval of the Inspection Team’s independent chair Rune Andersen establish a clear path upon which the verification criteria will be established," said Coe.

"For the protection of all clean athletes there cannot be any time-frame for ARAF’s return until we are assured all criteria have been fully met and will continue to be met forever.”

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