WADA president Craig Reedie (right)

Mail Online reports: “Expert advisers had been urged to take a hard line with their punishment following ongoing doping allegations, and a lengthy ban has now been dished out.

“Russia will have 21 days to appeal the huge ban, which will not apply to next summer’s European Championships, which Russia have qualified for and will host matches in St Petersburg.

“Nonetheless, the news will come as a huge blow to the football team, who hosted the last World Cup in 2018 and made it to the quarter-finals, knocking Spain out along the way,” the report said.

“The International Olympic Committee have said they would be willing to allow Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to compete under a neutral flag, as at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

“Russia had been braced for serious sanctions after a joint statement from WADA’s influential athletes’ committee urged tough steps to tackle the problem of doping.

“Nine members of the 17-strong group, including chair Beckie Scott, and British former Paralympian Vicki Aggar, said such a step was ‘the only meaningful sanction’.”

The statement read: “We maintain that the fraud, manipulation and deception revealed to date will only be encouraged and perpetuated with a lesser response,’ the statement read.

“Until these critical abuses of integrity in sport are confronted with courage and a resolute commitment to protect athletes and clean sport, they will continue, and the sports we love remain tarnished.”