World Athletics – formerly the IAAF – has halted Russia’s reinstatement after senior athletics officials were suspended for anti-doping rule breaches.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) introduced suspensions over violations involving athlete Danil Lysenko.
World Athletics said the AIU will investigate further and the body is considering expelling Russia.
Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.
Rune Andersen, chairman of the task force overseeing the reinstatement of Russia’s athletics federation (Rusaf), announced the decision after a meeting in Monaco on Friday.
Provisional suspensions have been imposed on the Russian athletics president Dmitry Shlyakhtin and executive director Alexander Parkin, high jumper Lysenko and his coach.
Later on Friday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) compliance review committee recommended Russia’s anti-doping agency Rusada be made non-compliant. Wada’s executive committee will meet on 9 December to consider.
World Athletics will wait for the outcome of that meeting but is contemplating the possibility of expelling Rusaf and also suspending the provision that allows Russians to compete as neutral athletes.
The AIU said the Russian athletics federation has until 12 December to respond to the notice of charges.
Travis Tygart, head of the US Anti Doping Agency, said: “Anything less than a four-year sanction for this critical violation that includes aggravating circumstances following years of denial and deceit would be another injustice in a long line of many for clean athletes.”