Moscow - Russia would be ready to appoint a foreign expert to head its anti-doping laboratory, the sports minister said Wednesday, after the former director of the facility quit following the lab's suspension over allegations from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"We are absolutely open and ready as a result of consultations with WADA to appoint even a foreign specialist to lead the laboratory if it is necessary," minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport news agency.
WADA has accused ex-laboratory head Grigory Rodchenkov of being at the heart of a scheme to cover up widespread use of illegal drugs among Russian athletes, including deliberately destroying positive test samples.
His resignation came after WADA suspended Moscow's heavily criticised anti-doping laboratory on Tuesday, the day after releasing its explosive, 335-page report on the scandal.
Russia has tried to shrug off the eye-watering allegations from WADA of corruption and doping, with the Kremlin calling the claims "groundless".
International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe has given the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) "until the end of the week" to respond or risk possible suspension, with the IAAF Council set to meet in Monaco on Friday.