A sign is on display outside the office of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow. Photo: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

MOSCOW  With Russia facing a renewed ban from sending a national team to the Olympics, the country's anti-doping chief said there needs to be "deep reforms" of Russia's sports policies.

"It will probably take another generation," Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director Yury Ganus told dpa. The athletes "are hostages to mistakes for which sports officials in this country are guilty," he said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said last week that it would decide on December 9 whether Russia should banned for four years from international competition.

Russian athletes could be allowed to compete as individuals at next year's Tokyo Summer Games and at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, without bearing their country's flag, as at last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games.

"They should be allowed to compete under the neutral flag, as they have done so far, so they will not pay for the mistakes of others," Ganus said.

Over the past half-decade, Russia has struggled with allegations of widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among top athletes.

WADA lifted RUSADA's suspension in September 2018 following a three-year ban, on the condition that Russia hand over doping data and samples from 2012 to 2015.

The data was found to have inconsistencies, indicating that it had been tampered with.

"I've always said clearly that the data was manipulated, that there were obvious violations," said Ganus, appointed head of RUSADA two years ago. "The cases in question are from the years before my time."

DPA