Today's devastating report on Russian athletics has called into question the credibility of a global sport. Although the focus is on the Russian anti-doping agency, and the pressure applied to them by the Russian government, the head of the commission, Richard Pound, today said that he didn't believe Russia was the only country where doping violations occur, or that athletics was the only sport affected.

The head of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Sebastian Coe, has a huge job on his hands. It's as bad, if not worse, than the task faced by whoever takes over as the head of FIFA.

What does an organisation - indeed an entire sport - do to recover from a reputational body blow like this? There are some clear steps, which apply in every situation where a reputation is damaged.

1) Come clean 

Every stone must be lifted, and every drain inspected. The full extent of wrong-doing must be revealed, before any action can be taken to repair the damage.

2) Explain the remedial action

We all need to know what measures are being put in place to ensure this dreadful position never occurs again. That really is as difficult as it sounds.

3) Rebuild trust 

In order to restore confidence, trusted individuals must take the reins and be responsible for all future testing. That requires much greater transparency, better communication and more thorough procedures.
4) Declare the crisis over

Only when every guilty party has been dealt with, all wrong-doing has been exposed, and robust measures put in place can the crisis be ended ,by the organisation that produced the report. That day is a long way off.

If you were, or indeed if you are, involved in athletics, how would you react?

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