Russia appears to have no chance of its International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspension being lifted until November, it has been announced today.
This is because the Russian Athletics Federation's (RusAF) suspension will not be lifted until the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is declared compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Under the current timetable, this will happen on a provisional basis in May and on a full basis in November.
This means Russians would only be able to compete as neutral athletes at August's IAAF World Championships in London.
Thirty-five Russians have so far applied to participate under a neutral flag.
To facilitate this process, more than 60 Russians are now part of the IAAF's International Registered Testing Pool.
Blanket approval has, however, been given to all under-15 Russian athletes to compete in international competitions, such as the European Youth Olympic Festival, which will be held in Györ, Hungary from July 22 to 30.
IAAF Task Force head Rune Andersen also said that Russia must either "convincingly rebut" or "acknowledge and properly address" evidence in the McLaren Report claiming that the Russian Sports Ministry and security services were complicit in a doping regime.
Vitaly Mutko, the former Sports Minister who is now Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was particularly singled out for his "negative and unhelpful" public denials and attempts to pin the blame on a Western political conspiracy.
insidethegames understands that he has admitted privately that they are struggling to deal with problems inherited from the Soviet Union before speaking differently in public.
His successor as Sports Minister, Pavel Kolobkov, is also thought to be developing the same tendency.
This was one of several "negative developments" pointed out in Russia since the IAAF suspension was first imposed in 2015.
RusAF also continues to face "practical and legal difficulties in enforcing provisional doping bans".
There also continues to be "very limited testing of Russian track and field athletes at the national level" as well as "troubling incidents" where testing is taking place.
To be reinstated, RusAF must "explain why in the past it has been unable to and how in the future it will be able to enforce all suspensions imposed on athletes and athlete support personnel under its jurisdiction in an effective and timely fashion".
They must also take "demonstrable objective and practical steps to cultivate the clean sport movement".
"Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
"Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system.
"We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return."