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Norway urges complete ban of all scheduled international biathlon events in Russia

December 22, 2016, 13:59 UTC+3 OSLO

On Wednesday, the British and Czech biathlon unions announced their intention to boycott the 2017 IBU World Cup event in the Russian city of Tyumen

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© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

OSLO, December 22. /TASS/. The Norwegian Biathlon Association sent an official letter to the International Biathlon Union (IBU) requesting that the international body cancel all of its scheduled competitions in Russia due to the recent allegations of widespread doping abuse in the country, Norway’s web portal reported on Thursday.

The British and Czech biathlon unions announced on late Wednesday their intention to boycott the 2017 IBU World Cup event in the Russian city of Tyumen in March next year following the recent report delivered by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission on the allegedly widespread doping abuse and manipulations in Russian sports.

The Norwegian Biathlon Association said in its statement to the IBU that it acknowledged "the open letter sent from the Czech Biathlon Union."

"With reference to the second part of the McLaren Report, the systemic doping taking place in Russia harms our sport extremely," the statement signed by the president of the Norwegian association, Erlend Slokvik, said. "We strongly encourage IBU Executive Board to act in this case and steps forward as a good example in front of the rest of the Olympic Winter Sports."

"The unprecedented scale of the entire Russian doping system - starting from the number of Biathletes involved in it and ranging to intricate and sophisticated practices controlled and organized by the government - is something we cannot turn away from, or not react upon," the statement said.

"We stand behind our friends from the Czech Biathlon Union, and urge that the IBU Executive Board takes immediate action and removes all competitions from Russia until international anti-doping standards in Russia are officially approved and recognized by WADA," according to the statement. "We were also disappointed that Tyumen could bid for the WCH (World Championship) 2021, against the recommendations from both WADA and IOC already early in July 2016."

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.

The IBU’s working group is set to present on Thursday recommendations on the alleged doping cases of Russian athletes, and then the organization would announce its decision on the matter.

The Norwegian Biathlon Association also requested in its statement to the IBU that "all active Russian Biathletes listed in the McLaren Report with valid proof, should be banned with immediate effect."

According to the Part 2 report, delivered earlier in the month in London by the WADA Independent Commission and its 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.

McLaren’s Part Two report claimed in particular that doping samples of 12 Russian medalists of 2014 Winter Games in Sochi had been tampered with. In addition, doping tests of two more Russian athletes, who won four gold medals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics had been falsified as well.

The report did not mention particular names and McLaren later told TASS that the decision against making public the names of athletes, who are allegedly guilty of doping abuse, was made in respect to their private life, and, moreover, it should be done by international sports federations and not him personally.

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