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Deputy PM says IBU under great pressure in light of 2021 championship in Russia

December 16, 2016, 20:10 UTC+3 VOLGOGRAD
The Russian West Siberian city of Tyumen was chosen to host the global biathlon tournament in 2021
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Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

VOLGOGRAD, December 16. /TASS/. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) is currently under enormous pressure exerted from the outside to force it to relocate the 2021 IBU World Championship, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told journalists on Friday.

Following the secret ballot by the IBU members during the closing day of the organization’s Congress, held in September in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, the Russian West Siberian city of Tyumen was chosen to host the global biathlon tournament in five years.

Asked whether the 2021 IBU championship could be possibly relocated from Russia’s Tymen to another venue, Mutko said "it was difficult to say."

"The international federation is under enormous pressure, which differs in its forms," Mutko said. "Some speak about boycotts, but boycotts have no perspectives nowadays."

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) announced on Tuesday night its decision to relocate the 2017 World Championship from the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi to another venue, which would be determined by the end of the week. The IBSF decision followed announcements of some countries on their intention to boycott the event in Russia.

"Everyone forgot already that for almost a year Russia had been under control of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD), and somehow we saw no outbreaks of doping-abuse cases," Mutko said. "Did we try to cover-up our athletes? Same Russian athletes, who performed at the Sochi Olympics, continue competing in all present-day tournaments."

A year ago the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation in regard to the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Starting this year doping control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

A week ago UKAD’s press service told TASS that it would continue cooperating with RUSADA until the Russian agency is reinstated in its rights.

The statement from UKAD came after the Part Two of the report from the WADA Independent Commission regarding the allegedly widespread doping abuse in Russian sports.

According to the Part Two report, delivered in London on December 9 by the commission’s chairman, Canadian sports law professor, Richard McLaren, over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and Paralympic sports could have been involved in the manipulations system to conceal positive doping tests.

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