Report claims IAAF delayed naming Russian drug cheats

London (AFP) - IAAF officials plotted to delay revealing the names of Russian doping cheats ahead of the 2013 World Championships, according to a BBC report.

The report published on the BBC's website on Monday claims to have discovered an email from IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies that discusses the plan to keep Russian athletes using drugs out of the spotlight until after the event was over.

Davies reportedly sent the email to Papa Massata Diack, who worked as an IAAF marketing consultant at the time and is the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack.

Lamine Diack resigned from his position on the International Olympic Committee in November after being charged with corruption, money laundering and conspiracy.

In the email, which was sent just weeks before Russian city Moscow staged the 2013 World Championships, Davies wrote he needed to sit down with the anti-doping team to discuss "Russian skeletons in the cupboard".

Davies stressed in the email that any Russians already caught cheating "should NOT" be in the Russian team in Moscow and that this should be made clear to Valentin Balakhnichev, then president of the Russian athletics federation and IAAF treasurer.

"If the guilty ones are not competing, then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them," Davies said according to the report.

"Or, we announce one or two BUT AT SAME TIME as athletes from other countries.

"Also, we can prepare a special dossier on IAAF testing which will show that one of reasons why these Russian athletes come up positive is that they get tested a lot!!!"

Russia's suitability to host such a prestigious event was already in question after a growing list of doping allegations.

The IAAF announced sanctions against 16 Russian athletes in the four months following the event.

Last month, Russia was provisionally suspended from track and field over accusations of "state-sponsored" doping as the IAAF scrambled to salvage the sport's credibility just nine months out from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.