Could Lamine Diack win the "Russian Order of the Bear?" ©Getty Images

A special Russian award being presented to former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack and moving Olympic swimming venues south to Antarctica are among the more outlandish sporting April Fool stories circulating today.

Given the serious and damning nature of sporting news in recent months, it is reassuring that there remains time for humour, although some of the spoof stories touch close to the bone.

According to popular athletics website LetsRun, Diack and his son Papa Massata will each be awarded the "coveted Order of the Bear" at a ceremony at the Kremlin this weekend for their contributions to Russian sport.

Both Diacks are at the centre of a French police investigation in which they are accused of accepting bribes for the covering up of doping scandals, most of which reportedly involved Russian athletes.

The All-Russia Athletic Federation has since been banned by the IAAF - now led by Lamine Diack's successor Sebastian Coe - and the world's largest country will be unable to compete at Rio 2016 unless this is lifted in time.

The timing is "odd" given these allegations, LetsRun admit, before claiming the duo will be honoured "in spirit" by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko - who denies doping allegations against his country on an almost daily basis - if they are unable to attend.

Moving the Olympics in August from Rio de Janeiro to Antarctica was apparently mooted following an "emergency session" between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Rio 2016 and "other pertinent bodies" in New York.

According to Swimming World Magazine, Capt. James Cook of the McMurdo Station in Antarctica is “excited to announce the 2016 Summer Olympic Aquatic Venue at the new Shackleton Aquatic Center at McMurdo Station".

Could swimming events be held in Antarctica at the Rio 2016 Olympics?
Could swimming events be held in Antarctica at the Rio 2016 Olympics? ©YouTube

Quoting Jim Clark Ross, a "second year Portuguese student at State University of New York who stood in as an impromptu translator after the slated translator became ill and was unable to attend", they claim the proposal prompted the Brazilian delegation to storm out of the meeting in disgust.

“The best I can translate it as is that they want you to stick it where the sun don’t shine," Clark Ross supposedly claimed.

This would solve at least one problem for Olympic organisers as challenges mount with four months to go until the Opening Ceremony on August 5, as the lack of mosquitoes in Antarctica mean there would be no risk of Zika virus.

Both athletics and Rio 2016 are at the centre of various other spoof stories.

The IOC has approached the IAAF to introduce the 10-event decathlon to replace the seven-event heptathlon as the women's multi-event discipline, Athletics Weekly report.

The proposal, undertaken with "gender equality and innovation in mind", should be in operation in time for this year's Games. 

An "agency" report on Kenya's Citizen Digital also claims the IAAF is "discussing a change in rules at its competitions that will see athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia, together with runners of their descent, competing for other nations, start distance races from 10,000 metres to the full marathon a minute behind the rest of the field".

A video is also being circulated by Swedish sportwear brand Björn Borg claiming that its own underwear is among items due to be banned by the World Anti Doping Agency for its performance enhancing benefits.

Other highlights include the Daily Telegraph's "exclusive" report that England, Wales and Northern Ireland could all be thrown out of the Euro 2016 football tournament should Britain vote to leave the European Union on June 23.

The vote is due to held three days before the start of the round of 16 stage, and a Franco-German proposal has called for the Home Nations to be removed immediately afterwards - if they have not been knocked-out already, that is.

In another football related spoof, Spanish newspaper AS claims Real Madrid and Barcelona are planning to launch professional cricket teams, with Clasicos - or "Cricketos, as they would be marketed" - to be held between the two each summer.

"Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Lionel] Messi, [Karim] Benzema, Neymar and their team-mates have already been learning the ropes of the game, with an hour set aside after every football training session to play cricket," it is claimed.