Lord Coe has given Russia until Friday to respond to WADA's accusations of systematic doping and has vowed to do everything he can to fix athletics.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended Russia be banned from international competition upon accusations of doping, cover-ups and extortion in an intensive report released in Geneva on Monday.
The report identified ''systemic failures'' within the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the Russian athletics federation (ARAF) to ''prevent or diminish the possibility of an effective anti-doping programme''.
The IAAF president Coe pledged to fix these failures and restore trust in the sport, but he insisted they must wait for Russia's official response before possibly suspending the nation.
He said: "I've asked the council to convene on Friday, which we will, to review their response and then look at the next steps.
"This is a matter for my council. Sanctions could follow. It is possible we could end up with a suspension on Friday.
"We need to hear properly what answer the Russian Athletics Federation gives us to the welter of allegations. I want to wait for the official response from the federation. They are our member.
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"Clearly we need to absorb the report, but the broader point here is that if any of our anti-doping processes have failed, or our internal governance has failed, and clearly rogue elements are involved, then I will fix it."
Lord Coe's predecessor Lamine Diack is currently being investigated over an alleged payment of more than one million euros to cover up doping offences by Russian athletes.
Coe heaped praise on Diack when he succeeded him in August and said he was ready to face criticism himself now that allegations of corruption have reached the office in which he now presides.
"The allegations made about certain people were deeply shocking and the scale and extent of the report is equally shocking. If those allegations are proven then it's extremely damaging," he said.
"I realise I'm going to come in for some criticism for the remarks I made within moments of winning the right to be in the position I'm in today. That does, of course, presuppose that I made those remarks with a list of allegations sitting in front of me. I didn't.
"Athletes have to know that they have in me and my council colleagues a group of people who are in their corner. My responsibility now is to create a sport, and systems, that are accountable, responsible and responsive, and I will do everything I can to fix it.
"I've been in this sport for nearly 50 years. You'd have to be unhuman not to be shocked by this. But I also have the responsibility now to put in place whatever systems we need to have to make sure we never return to this place again.
"I have to have confidence I can do that. I am in a position now to make change and I welcome the chance to do that."
Interpol, which is based in Lyon, has said the investigation involving sports officials and athletes suspected of doping cover-ups will be led by French prosecutors, who are already investigating Diack.
The International Olympic Commitee's ethics team has called for Diack to be suspended as an honorary member, and said: "This is a deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport."