A Compliance Review Committee charged with recommending if Russia should be deemed re-compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules is due to deliver a report next week.
The Committee, chaired by British lawyer Jonathan Taylor, held a meeting in Montreal yesterday.
The meeting was chiefly held to assess the contents of a letter sent by Russian authorities last month which supposedly went some way towards fulfilling their compliance criteria of accepting the conclusions of the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report into institutional doping in the country.
Russian officials accepted the "serious crisis which has affected the Russian sports was caused by some unacceptable manipulations of the anti-doping system" in the letter, but Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov - one of its authors - insisted last month that they had not backed down and accepted the whole McLaren Report.
The other outstanding criteria, which relates to the opening-up of the Moscow Laboratory for WADA inspection, has not been fulfilled.
The report, which will be submitted to WADA director general Olivier Niggli, is likely to assess whether the letter is considered enough while also assessing whether the Moscow Laboratory opening is still required for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to be declared re-compliant.
No updates have been given following the meeting and the contents of their report next week are not expected to be circulated publicly.
A recommendation will seemingly be made pending a final decision by the WADA Executive Committee.
This panel is next due to meet on September 20 in Seychelles so, in theory, no decision can be made before then.
There have been suggestions, though, that a telephone meeting could be arranged at shorter notice in order to speed up the process.
Some believe that a telephone meeting involving many different languages would not be the best forum for such an important discussion.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and sports movement representatives claimed at WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings in Montreal last month that the letter constituted an acceptance of the McLaren Report.
They also aggressively called for Russia to be readmitted and criticised the process for "dragging on and on".
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie, himself an IOC member, did not endorse that view but claimed he was hopeful it would be "a game-changer" in the deadlock between WADA and Russia.
Other figures believe that there is no point in have criteria for re-compliance if they are not going to stick to them.
Access to the Moscow Laboratory is considered important so WADA inspectors can assess samples and electronic evidence.
Data currently obtained through the facility's Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database - which was not obtained with Russian help - is not considered enough to prove much of the evidence against individual athletes accused of doping or sample tampering at major events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
But Russian authorities claim they cannot do this because an enquiry conducted by its own Investigative Committee is ongoing.
This comes as most sporting governing bodies appear to have ceased investigating evidence against individual athletes.
The only exception to this was an International Biathlon Union disciplinary decision to sanction Russia's Ekaterina Glazyrina early last month which was based on "overwhelming evidence" in the McLaren Report backed-up by the LIMS database.
Other winter federations, including the International Skating Union, are refusing to even provide updates about the progress, if any, of their probes into athletes who remain free to compete.