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Russia’s Ustyugov says turned to Austrian court to make IBU ‘stop its hunt on him’

The IBU reopened a probe against Ustyugov last week citing irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russian biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov told TASS on Tuesday he decided to file a lawsuit with a court of Austria against the International Biathlon Union (IBU) in order to put an end to continuous attacks of the world’s governing biathlon body against him.

The IBU reopened a probe against Ustyugov last week citing irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport (ATP). The international federation had conducted an investigation in regard to Ustyugov on the same charges back in 2017-2018 and the Russian athlete was eventually acquitted.

President of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Vladimir Drachev told TASS last Thursday that Ustyugov filed a lawsuit with a court of Austria against the International Biathlon Union (IBU), which initiated another doping probe against him.

"To be honest, my lawyers are shocked with this situation as it contradicts all legal norms because it is impossible to review the previously made decisions without new evidence," Ustyugov said in an interview with TASS.

"This is why in view of the IBU attitude I was forced to turn to a state court in order to oblige them to abide by the previously made decisions," he continued. "I have turned to the Austrian court because this is where the main office [of the IBU] is located and people say that this is the first case ever, when an athlete turns to a state court."

"This is certainly a precedent in the history of biathlon and perhaps it will bring the IBU to senses and they will stop their hunt on me," Ustyugov added.

On top of all, the IBU announced on February 13 that it found Ustyugov guilty of consuming banned performance enhancing drug Oxandrolone. The world’s governing biathlon body ruled to annul all results of the athlete for the period from August 27, 2013 and until the end of the 2013/2014 season, including his 2014 Sochi Olympics gold medal in team relay.

The biathlete has now 21 days to file an appeal against the IBU decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In case CAS rules not to uphold Ustyugov’s appeal, he will be stripped of his 2014 Olympics gold medal. His teammates Anton Shipulin, Dmitry Malyshko and Alexei Volkov, who raced with him in the team relay event, will be also stripped of their gold and Russia will lose its top position in the overall medals standings of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Ustyugov, 34, is a two-time Olympic champion. He won his first gold in mass start at the Winter Olympics in Canada and his second gold at the 2014 Olympics in Russia’s Sochi in team relay event. After the Olympics on his home soil, Ustyugov announced that he wrapped up his sports career.