New All-Russia Athletics Federation President Dmitry Shlyakhtin has held talks with IAAF head Sebastian Coe in Monte Carlo ©ARAF

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has held his first meeting with Dmitry Shlyakhtin, new head of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF).

It was the first time the two sides had met since the election of Shlyakhtin as President of the ARAF last month.

The Minister of Sport of the Samara Oblast region was elected unanimously at a special ARAF meeting on January 16.

Shlyakhtin has to try to persuade the IAAF to lift the suspension imposed on Russia following the publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission report last November.

The Commission, chaired by the International Olympic Committtee's most senior member Richard Pound, claimed Russia's athletes were part of a state-supported system.

A Taskforce chaired by Norway's Rune Andersen has now been set-up by the IAAF to monitor changes to Russia's anti-doping programme and will advise the world governing body on whether the suspension should be lifted in time for them to compete at this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Shlyakhtin briefed Coe and Jean Gracia, the IAAF's interim general secretary, during the meeting on Friday (February 12) for about an hour. 

"In the course of the meeting both parties discussed various matters related to the current situation in Russian athletics and ways of bringing it out of crisis," the ARAF said in a statement sent to insidethegames.

"Dmitry Shlyakhtin informed IAAF leaders about the measures that have already been taken in order to reform Russia Athletics activity.

"He mentioned that this process required a thorough and well planned activity and could not be solved within one day.

"The ARAF President mentioned that he was in close contact with Rune Andersen, who was well aware about the changes that have already happened in Russian Athletics."

IAAF President Sebastian Coe is under intense pressure over the suspension of Russia, putting in jeopardy their participation at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
IAAF President Sebastian Coe is under intense pressure over the suspension of Russia, putting in jeopardy their participation at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

Andersen is due to visit Moscow for a third time tomorrow.

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko plans to present him with a report commissioned by the country's Prosecutor-General’s office which claimed there was "not a single piece of evidence that might confirm the authorities were somehow involved in the affair".

The WADA have dismissed the report.

They claimed it cannot be taken seriously because there was not "any request to WADA, or WADA’s Independent Commission for information or evidence".

The IAAF's ruling Council is due to discuss the situation in Russia at its next meeting in Monte Carlo on March 10 and 11. 

“I was pleased to meet with the new President of Russian athletics," Coe told insidethegames.

"We held a wide ranging conversation including, of course, the current position that Russia finds itself in.

"I also thanked him for his cooperation with the IAAF Taskforce which is independently chaired by Rune Andersen and will be responsible for making recommendations to Council over the coming months.”