Top Russian track official suspended

The president of Russia's track and field federation has been suspended on suspicion of obstructing an anti-doping investigation in a blow to Russia's preparations for the 2020 Olympics.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees disciplinary issues in track, charged Dmitri Shlyakhtin and six others with various offences on Thursday.

They are related to the case of a top high jumper, Danil Lysenko, who allegedly presented fake medical records after being accused of failing to make himself available for drug testing.

The federation as a whole is facing charges, as are Shlyakhtin and four of its senior officials. Lysenko and his coach Evgeny Zagorulko have also been charged.

Russia's federation was already officially suspended from international track over earlier doping cases under a 2015 ruling.

The federation had been inching closer to reinstatement this year after negotiations headed by Shlyakhtin, but World Athletics officials expressed concern that anti-doping reforms weren't always being implemented on the ground.

The announcement comes the day before a council meeting of World Athletics, formerly known as the IAAF, which governs international track and field.

Russian athletes have been allowed to compete as neutrals at events like the world championships after passing vetting of their drug-testing history.

Olympic rules mean that Russian athletes will currently be allowed to compete under their own flag in Tokyo next year.