Vitaly Mutko has admitted that Russian athletics coaches often resort to doping ©Getty Images

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has admitted that many athletes coaches in the country "don't understand how to work without doping".

The comments, which have been taken as a partial admission of the extent of problems, come after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) is not expected to have its suspension lifted until November.

This means no Russian athletes will be able to compete under their own flag at August's World Championships in London.

Mutko, the former Sports Minister, was particularly singled out for his "negative and unhelpful" public denials and attempts to pin the blame on a Western political conspiracy.

This is despite the official having been more candid in admitting problems in private, the IAAF said.

IAAF Task Force head Rune Andersen said 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.

Another problem cited was how coaches supposedly banned from the sport due to their involvement in doping were still involved.

"Athletes broke rules and many coaches don't understand how to work without doping - it's time for them to retire," Mutko admitted to R-Sport.

Hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov has criticised the decision not to lift the Russian suspension ©Getty Images
Hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov has criticised the decision not to lift the Russian suspension ©Getty Images

However, he once again opted not to make any wider acknowledgement and instead blamed the world governing body for a supposed lack of clarity in their reinstatement criteria.

"Over the past year we have done a massive amount of work," Mutko added.

"They [IAAF] tell us: you have done great work but there is still a lot to be done.

"That happens when there aren't clear criteria, clear regulations."

Thirty-five Russians have so far applied to compete as neutral athletes in international competitions this year.

They will be cleared to do so if they can prove they have been operating in an "effective testing system" outside the country.

Reigning 110 metres hurdles world champion Sergey Shubenkov, one of those to have applied to compete neutrally, has led criticism from Russian athletes.

"They [the IAAF] said we have a chance to compete as neutrals but for some reason we still do not compete," he said.

Far stronger criticism has been vented by Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, a two-time Olympic long jump bronze medallist for the Soviet Union in the 1960s.

Speaking at a press conference today, the 78-year-old claimed state sponsored East German steroid programmes in the 1970s and 1980s should be seen as "good pharmacology," rather than doping. 

According to Russia Today, he also claimed to be "convinced" that IAAF President Sebastian Coe was doping during his athletics career before admitting that he too had "resorted to pharmacy" when competing.

"All world champions have doped," he reportedly added.