A dark day for athletics might actually turn out to be a good day for Ireland
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended that Russia should be banned from all athletic competition.
The announcement was made as WADA released a report into doping in Russia.
The damning report accused the Russian government of "direct intimidation", and highlighted a "deeply rooted culture of cheating".
The Commission identified "systemic failures within the IAAF and Russia that prevent or diminish the possibility of an effective anti-doping program".
A ban would have huge ramifications on Russian Athletics if imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It would prevent Russian athletes from competing in any IAAF-sanctioned events such as the Olympic Games and the world and European championships.
Russia won 81 medals at the last Olympics - 17 in track and field. Sad to say London 2012 will now have to wear an asterisk.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) November 9, 2015
However, there might be good news from an Irish perspective coming out of the WADA report. The Commission found that the London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes who had suspicious doping profiles.
Among them are Sergey Kirdyapkin, who won gold in the men’s 50km walk at London 2012, where Rob Heffernan finished fourth.
Kirdyapkin received a retrospective banning for doping violations, but only for periods in 2009 and 2011, meaning he got to keep his gold medal. Should this new report see him receive a new ban, Heffernan would be automatically upgraded to the bronze position.
Official News of my Olympic bronze could be on the way #mixedemotions https://t.co/tOfVl9IFQb
— Rob Heffernan OLY (@RM_Heffernan) November 9, 2015
The hope is that today's report will mean a cleaner field in Rio next year, where Heffernan will be hoping to build on his 2013 World Championship gold.