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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has failed to obtain sufficient evidence to impose sanctions on the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) and athletes, IBU President Anders Besseberg said Thursday.
"Suspicion is not enough to implement the sanctions and we will keep going down a professional pathway, considering all opinions, but not acting on suspicion only. Correctness of Rules has to work both ways - for the guilty and for the non - guilty," the official said in a statement.
"All athletes deserve that we avoid having any shadow on their performance and that they can compete without any doubts and can completely concentrate on their sport activities," he added.
IBU announced on December 15 that it had obtained the list of 31 athletes, whom WADA and its commission led by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren suspect of doping violations. One of them competed only on national level, and another one has already been suspended by the RBU for the same sample as reported by McLaren, the biathlon governing body said.
On Thursday night, the IBU opened formal investigations by the IBU against the RBU and the 29 athletes mentioned in the report, but ruled against provisional measures.
The organization said, however, that Russia had chosen not to host international biathlon competitions scheduled to take place early next year.
"This is a first important step by the Russian Biathlon Union to show to the IBU and to the world of sport that the current situation is taken very seriously," Besseberg said.