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Sports official hails IBU decision not to bar Russian biathletes from international events

December 23, 2016, 9:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Decisions made by the International Biathlon Union on Russia late Thursday should be viewed as positive, said Alexander Tikhonov, a four-time Olympic champion in biathlon and a board member of the Russian Biathlon Union.

"I was worried primarily about the possible disqualification of the athletes. It’s a good thing that biathletes were not affected. This decision is positive," he said.

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.

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