Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin admitted the Russian Athletics Federation may be expelled by World Athletics ©Getty Images

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has admitted the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) may be expelled by World Athletics after missing a deadline to pay a fine, although a new commission has been established to work towards restoration.

RusAF had been ordered to pay World Athletics $6.31 million (£5 million/€5.6 million) but missed the cut-off point earlier this month. 

In reaction to the missed deadline, World Athletics halted the work of the Doping Review Board which decides which Russians can compete with neutral status.

The Russian Taskforce overseeing the country's reinstatement from its lengthy suspension was also stood down. 

RusAF is now facing expulsion, with World Athletics set to discuss the situation at a Council meeting on Wednesday and Thursday (July 29 and 30).

"There is a possibility that the toughest decisions will be made against RusAF, including exclusion, but we must do everything possible to minimise the risks of aggravating the crisis," said Matytsin, as reported by Russian state news agency TASS

"I hope that some positive decision will be made, but I am not sure that this will happen quickly."

Matytsin also suggested the coronavirus pandemic was a cause for the missed deadline.

"Unfortunately, the period of the pandemic aggravated the economic situation and did not allow RusAF to fulfill its financial obligations," he said. 

Matytsin has previously called for "common sense" regarding the status of Russian athletes when the World Athletics meeting takes place.

The crisis resulted in the resignation of RusAF President Yevgeny Yurchenko after less than six months in the role, but the organisation will not hold an urgent election.

First vice-president Alexei Plotnikov is set to be Acting President instead. 

The World Athletics Council is set to decide the fate of RusAF this week ©World Athletics
The World Athletics Council is set to decide the fate of RusAF this week ©World Athletics

The fine from World Athletics came after an investigation into world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko.

Seven RusAF officials – including then-President Dmitry Shlyakhtin – were charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) with obstructing an anti-doping investigation by forging documents to explain Lysenko's missed tests.

The 23-year-old Lysenko now faces a ban of up to eight years.

RusAF has been suspended by World Athletics since November 2015 following revelations of state-sponsored doping, with the suspension extended more than a dozen times since then.

The Lysenko affair plunged the organisation into further trouble and contributed to the AIU Board stating in a report earlier this year that the World Athletics Council should consider expelling RusAF.     

In an attempt to avoid expulsion, a new RusAF commission has been set up to work towards having the organisation restored by World Athletics.

Again per TASS, Plotnikov is chairing the panel, which also includes Government, athlete and anti-doping representatives. 

Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director general Yuri Ganus and deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya both attended the meeting, along with RusAF legal adviser Irina Lyuboserdova, Deputy Sports Minister Odes Baysultanov and Andrey Konokotin of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Elena Isinbaeva - an International Olympic Committee member - and Maria Aglitskaya were also present, representing the RusAF Athletes' Commission.

The group is reported to have laid out a new roadmap for change and introducing a zero-tolerance approach to doping, which the RusAF leadership will send to World Athletics tomorrow.

RUSADA was again declared non-compliant by the Wold Anti-Doping Agency in December of last year.