Mariya Savinova
Olympic 800m champion Mariya Savinova is implicated within the allegationsGetty Images

The International Association of Athletics Federations, the International Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency are all being urged to act decisively over the allegations of widespread doping among Russian athletes.

A German television documentary screened on Wednesday 3 December claimed Russian and IAAF officials were covering up positive tests of athletes, with "99%" of competitors implicated in the scandal.

Russia's Athletics Federation president Valentin Balakhnichev has dismissed the claims as a "pack of lies" but the details of the documentary have been handed to the relevant world governing bodies for further assessment.

The athletics season begins in earnest in March at the World Indoor Championships in Prague and UK Athletics chief Ed Warner says the governors of athletics must move quickly to give the sport fresh belief.

"We don't need this in a year's time, we need this in a matter of weeks' time," he said. "We don't want to go into the 2015 athletics season with suspicion hanging over Russian athletes.

"We can't be going into a European indoor championships in Prague in March with people looking at what they are watching and wondering if they can believe it.

"The allegations that have been aired are clearly extremely serious and it's vital the IAAF doesn't pay lip service to any investigation and is seen to thoroughly scrutinise what has or has not gone on here swiftly and openly.

"Any conclusion it reaches must be published for all to see and any action that is taken must be sufficiently punitive to make sure there is not only punishment but also deterrent.

"The risk is that this takes too long and is conducted too discretely and there is no sense that the IAAF is taking this seriously enough. If that is the case the integrity of the sport is called into question."

Helmut Digel, honorary president of the German Athletics' organisation, added: "It's disgusting what has been reported about the sport. If those accusations prove to be true, this would question the whole international anti-doping system. It would have fatal consequences for the control system."

The IOC board met on Friday 5 December ahead of the 127th session in Monaco but the agenda did not include a mention of a discussion regarding the allegations, which only came to light in the last 48 hours.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: "If, as a result of this inquiry, anyone under the jurisdiction of the IOC has committed any anti-doping rule violation, the IOC will act. These are very serious allegations and the IOC will not hesitate to take all necessary steps."

In a statement made on Wednesday prior to the broadcast of the documentary, Wada said: "Wada has in fact already received some information and evidence of the type exposed. All of that information has been passed to the appropriate independent body within the international federation

"Insofar as the particular allegations against Russian authorities and others are concerned, these will all be carefully scrutinised and if action is warranted, Wada will take any necessary and appropriate steps under the Code."