The delay to the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 could offer the opportunity for additional Russian track and field athletes to compete, World Athletics president Lord Sebastian Coe has said.
The international federation announced earlier this month that a maximum of 10 Russians would be allowed to take part in the Tokyo Games as Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANAs) as part of a reintegration process, after the new president of the Russian federation (RusAF), admitted doping rule breaches by the previous regime.
Russia was fined $US10 million ($A16m), the first half of which is due by July 1.
Strict criteria have been laid down for RusAF to follow, and Coe accepted that the postponement of the Games due to the coronavirus had created a "different landscape" which may mean that more athletes are allowed to take part in 2021.
"That is something we would want to discuss with the task force," he said on Friday.
"As you know, we created the independent task force and we have been well served by their deliberations on this, and we have got to the position we have in large part because of the work of the task force.
"The World Athletics Council has on every occasion accepted the recommendation of the task force. So yes, looking down the track, everybody is in a very different landscape so that will have to be looked at."
Coe also addressed the issue of drug-testing generally, which has been impacted by the pandemic.
"I have a really clear message about this - we're not in a test-free zone at the moment," he warned.
"The one thing athletes need to reflect on is that if you take the World Anti-Doping Agency, the national anti-doping agencies, the Athletics Integrity Unit, these are organisations that are playing at the top of their game."
Australian Associated Press