BLED /Slovenia/, February 12. /TASS/. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) believes that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions rule out using the full name of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) at the 2021 World Biathlon Championships in Slovenia’s Pokljuka, IBU Secretary General Niklas Carlsson told TASS.
The WADA sanctions came into effect in December and ban Russian national symbols from being used at Olympic Games and world championships. Therefore, Russian biathletes compete in Slovenia as the RBU team, with the full federation name prohibited from being displayed. Earlier, other sporting federations allowed full names of Russian federations at world championships.
"The interpretation of the rules can be done in very different ways. We follow it, we check with the CAS that it is WADA compliant. We think that the spirit is as we say it that Russia should not be mentioned and, in that sense, they have Russian neutral athletes. We think they are representing RBU, so that’s why we have decided to have the acronym," Carlsson said.
"We think that this is our interpretation of the spirit and the word [of the CAS decision]. The word can be implemented in different ways between different international federations. There is nowhere that it says that there can only be one way to do it. That’s how we see it and that’s how we decided to do it," he added.
Russian athletes competed under the full name of their national federations at the handball and luge world championships in January. The upcoming ski world championships will also feature Russian skiers as the Russian Ski Federation team.
Earlier, the RBU sent an official letter to the IBU leadership to voice disagreement over the restrictions.