London: British athletics great and International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) presidency candidate hopeful Sebastian Coe has described claims of systematic doping in Russian athletics as "damaging".
Coe called for independent testing to help tackle the issue of drugs in the sport.
A German TV channel has alleged through a documentary that the Russian Athletics Federation covers up positive tests of athletes routinely. The Russian federation called the allegations by the German TV "lies".
"There is a disproportionate amount of reputational damage being caused by a small number of countries," Coe was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"I really do feel that independent testing at arm's length from the federation is the way forward. Independent testing and sanctioning would take some of the pressure off member federations and cut through any potential for conflict. We have to get this right," he said.