Russia's two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva is reportedly hoping the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will lift the country's suspension before the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Even if it were possible for the IAAF to give the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) the thumbs up between now and when the Championships start – September 27, that's a week on Friday – the logistics would look, shall we say, challenging.
The Beijing 2008 and London 2012 gold medallist, who missed out on competing for a third successive Olympic title at Rio 2016 due to Russia's suspension for employing a systematic doping regime, hopes the saga can be swiftly concluded.
"There will be Russian athletes, but I am not sure whether they will be able to compete under the Russian flag," Isinbayeva said to insidethegames on Saturday (September 14).
"Definitely they will be able to participate, with the IAAF having agreed about 20 participants to date.
"Of course, we hope if the IAAF Council happens before the World Championships that they will make the decision to take out the sanctions.
"Everything that needs to be done, has been done from our side.
"Now we have to wait for their decision."
To recap, the IAAF issued its suspension of the RusAF in November 2015 after evidence emerged of an institutional scheme of doping and cover-ups which has seen numerous Russian athletes and coaches sanctioned.
On June 9 this year the suspension was extended for an 11th time following a meeting in Monaco.
This followed claims that the RusAF had aided the forging of paperwork to help Russian world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko avoid a drugs ban.
Other reports had also claimed that banned coaches and medical staff were remaining active in athletics.
"We hope our athletes will be free to compete under the Russian flag and there will not be any more collective responsibility for violation of anti-doping rules," Isinbayeva concluded.
"We really hope the situation will be solved in the proper way and we can forget about this saga forever."
No doubt everyone would agree with the sentiment of that last sentence.
It's just the matter of how we all get there.
Speaking last week to the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, one got the impression that there was growing, but certainly not precipitate optimism, on his part about an eventual resolution to this impasse. Much is resting on the job the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) now has of analysing the mass of data concerning athlete tests that has been belatedly handed over to them by the Moscow Laboratory, via the World Anti-Doping Agency.
"It has been a long process," Coe told me. "We have the criteria. And slowly but surely we have started to get change.
"And the biggest piece of that is the work the AIU is doing around the data.
"My techy colleagues tell me it is the equivalent of trying to wade your way through 51,000 CDs. It's a massive amount of work. But change is taking place. Slowly but surely we have started to get change."
Referencing Russians who have been competing as Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA), such as world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene and former world 110 metres hurdles champion Sergey Shubenkov, Coe continued: "I understand the power and excitement that wearing a national vest gives you.
"The next best thing I can do for those athletes who found they were in a country where their federation had been suspended was to allow them to go on competing. We wanted to bring about the separation of the clean athletes form the tainted system."
Last week the IAAF confirmed the latest batch of Russians who had been cleared to compete as ANA athletes.
Eleven more were accepted, bringing the total to 128. Conversely, 18 athletes were rejected to swell a total that now stands at 58.
Coe's estimate of how many eligible Russian athletes will compete in Doha considerably exceeds that of Isinbayeva's.
"In Doha we will still have 75 to 80 ANA athletes competing, or probably higher than that," Coe said. "Each one of those athletes will be there because they've been through AIU testing and the Doping Review Panel. And frankly the vast majority of those athletes are actually very appreciative."
As the wheels continue to grind within the AIU, perhaps the more pertinent question to be asked regarding a deadline for Russia's track and field athletes is "will the suspension be lifted in time for the Tokyo 2020 Games?"
When, ahead of the Rio 2016 Games, RusAF appealed against the IAAF ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) their appeal was rejected. Thus the IAAF's right to determine athletes eligible to compete at the Games was upheld, and remains.
That is why the Russian Olympic Committee got a kick up the pants from the Russian President Vladimir Putin in May this year as he ordered them and RusAF to ensure the IAAF suspension was reversed by December 2 this year, in order for all selected Russian track and field athletes to be able to compete at next year's Games.
But as part of their response, CAS did also uphold the right of any Russian track and field athletes deemed eligible to compete at the Games through the IAAF's ANA initiative to do so as part of a Russian team, complete with national vests and flags.
"We lost that point," Coe reflected. "It's the only point we lost at that CAS hearing."
Accordingly, the only eligible and selected Russian track and field athlete to compete at the Rio 2016 Games, long jumper Darya Klishina – deemed eligible because she had trained and lived for three years outside her native country – did so representing Russia and wearing her national colours.
As things stand that would be the prerogative of any group of Russian track and field athletes selected by their NOC from the IAAF's pool of eligible competitors.
The idea of Russian athletes competing as a team, even if RusAF has not been welcomed back into the fold, is one that grates with the sport's international governing body.
"If the Russian Athletics Federation is reinstated through the IAAF by then, that's something we would be comfortably sitting behind anyway," Coe said. "But at the moment, until the criteria are met in full and the federation is reinstated, that is where we sit."
So does Coe find the prospect of eligible track and field athletes competing as a Russian team even if their federation is still suspended frustrating?
"It's not a matter of frustration or otherwise," he responded. "It's the system. We did what we did in our sport not because we were bench-marking other organisations' responses elsewhere. We had a massive challenge to confront and I felt it was better to confront it than to ignore it.
"So it's not really a matter of frustration. It's just the world we live in."