The international athletics association World Athletics is considering taking away membership of the Russian athletics association after another seven federal officials were punished on Thursday.

World Athletics has asked its special task force for Russia for recommendations about a possible ban on the Russian Athletics Association. "This is not a symbolic action," stressed President Sebastian Coe in Monaco on Friday.

Due to widespread doping use, the Russian Federation has been suspended for four years by the International Athletics Association, formerly known as the IAAF. The process to lift this suspension has been stopped immediately after the Russian federal president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and six other officials were punished on Thursday for breaking the anti-doping rules.

The seven are suspected of having impeded a doping investigation into high jumper Danil Lysenko, including by forging documents.

Russian athletes have not been allowed to participate in major tournaments under their own flag for years. Russians who are considered 'clean' after extensive research may participate in World Cups and European Cups under a neutral flag, although World Athletics will now also reconsider that policy.

Russia is waiting - less than a year for the Tokyo Olympic Games - for a judgment from the international anti-doping agency WADA, which will decide next month on the status of the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA.