So news of the Russian Athletics Federation’s demise had been exaggerated.
The word within World Athletics circles was that this was going to be the day when RusAF - to give the Federation its handier monicker - finally got the boot for its egregious failure to offer convincing reinstatement plans since being suspended in November 2015 following revelations of organised doping.
That failure was more recently compounded with the non-payment of a $6.31 million (£5 million/€5.6 million) fine by the deadline of July 1, levied following yet another doping scandal in which forged documents were used to cover whereabouts failures by the 2018 world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko, who now faces an eight-year ban.
But this morning everything changed. Oleg Matytsin, the Russian Sports Minister, contacted the head of the Taskforce deputed to try and steer RusAF back into the fold, Rune Andersen, and offered an "unconditional" guarantee to pay the outstanding fine by August 15.
Asked if he knew where the money was coming from - would it be paid by the Russian Government? - Andersen admitted that he didn’t know. But hey, why quibble?
The Norwegian, reporting after the conclusion of the two-day World Athletics Council meeting, added that Matytsin had also "indicated his intention to support the reinstatement process moving forward".
So after teetering on the brink of expulsion, RusAF has now been dragged back by a late flourish. If the money is produced on time, and a credible draft plan of reinstatement arrives by August 30, followed a month later by a serious final version, then Russian track and field athletes could be back in business.
No wonder Yury Ganus, director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, hailed Matytsin’s late call as offering "oxygen" to RusAF.
Matytsin, also President of the International University Sports Federation, will surely never make a more dramatic and telling intervention in the cause of world sport.
Prayers will now be said in all churches that his pledge will be able to be delivered.
Among those offering a cautious welcome to the latest turn of events was Sergei Klevtsov, coach to the 110 metres hurdler who has won one world gold and two silvers since 2015 - Sergey Shubenkov.
"The decision of the international federation to postpone tough sanctions against ARAF (RusAF) is, of course, encouraging,” Klevtsov told Russia's official state news agency TASS.
"We really hope that everything said by both the Russian Sports Minister and the people from World Athletics will come true.
"I would like to have the opportunity to go to international starts at least in the fall, which is important for preparing for the Olympics, because for this we trained so much in the summer.
“After today's news, we had a desire to continue training."
Had RusAF been expelled today, the decision would have had to have been ratified by the World Athletics Congress, which is next due to meet in 2021. But in the meantime the federation would have remained suspended, and even those Russians vouched for as being clear of doping and able to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes would have been stymied by the fact that the scheme had been frozen following the July 1 non-payment.
And the earliest opportunity to reverse an expulsion would have been the next World Athletics Congress but one in 2023 - after the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games next summer and the Eugene World Championships, pushed back to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic,
That demoralising prospect prompted what looked like a despairing final appeal by three of Russia’s pre-eminent track and field competitors - Shubenkov, double world high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene and world pole vault champion Anzhelika Sidorova - to the chair of the world governing body’s Athletes Commission, former world pole vault record holder Renaud Lavillenie.
Like his vice-chair, former world and Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams, the Frenchman has a full voting place on the Council.
How infinitely sad it would have been if Lasitskene - scolded by some for not emoting more conventionally in moments of victory, but in fact the possessor of a Mona Lisa smile when she chooses her own moments for expression - had been denied the opportunity to continue her sublime mastery of the event, and to deal with the rapidly rising challenge of Ukraine’s 18-year-old world silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
It would also be dreadful to think of Shubenkov, a smart, funny and friendly presence on the Diamond League tour, being shut out from his beloved sport.
Shubenkov likes to tell stories about his coach. When he rang him to say how he had lowered his season’s best to 12.99sec at the 2018 meeting in Montreuil, Shubenkov recalled, the response of Coach Klebtsov was "could be better".
Shortly afterwards it was better, as Shubenkov clocked his current personal best, 12.92, at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial meeting in Hungary.
Like Lasitskene, like Sidorova, in fact like every other Russian athlete except long jumper Darya Klishina, Shubenkov was forced to sit out the Rio 2016 Olympics before charting a way back to international competition through the Authorised Neutral Athlete route.
In 2017 Shubenkov finished as Diamond League winner in his event, having taken silver in London as he defended the world title he had won in Beijing two years earlier.
Speaking in Monaco in the latter part of that season, he tried to explain how it felt to operate in such circumstances, having been allowed back to competition at the start of the year.
"Initially I said there was no difference at all, but I admit it was to get those thoughts away from my own head," he said, with a rueful grin.
"That is why I was smiling when I came over the finish line in this year’s World Championships final. Because this was the only possibility to compete and competing is the most important thing in our lives.
"I have tried not to think too much about the overall situation, although of course I have been looking forward to Russia’s reinstatement as soon as possible.
"I was the defending champion in London, but I missed 2016. Of course it made a difference. That’s why I got the silver medal, not gold."
Last season I met up with Shubenkov again at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat.
After the scramble to get onto the hotel bus bound for the stadium, where the pre-event press conference was being held, I found myself sitting next him.
"How are you?" I enquired, originally. "Tired," he said. He’d just flown in from his native Siberia, where his doted-on one-year-old son Yaroslav was, even as we spoke, pushing the limits over what he could reach up to. Like father, like son…
Looking out on lines of sunlit palm trees, I asked him if the weather conditions would suit him for his race the following night. "It’s colder than I expected here," he replied. "When I left Siberia it was 26 degrees.”
It’s good to think that he and his fellow athletes will have the chance - fingers crossed - to come in from the cold at last…