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Russian Biathlon Union to appeal to CAS over IBU membership suspension

On March 2, the IBU issued a provisional suspension of all athletes from Russia and Belarus barring them indefinitely from international competitions

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. The Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) opposes the stance of the sports global governing body, the International Biathlon Union, on the suspension of its membership and intends to submit a relevant appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), RBU President Viktor Maigurov said on Monday.

"The IBU [International Biathlon Union] states that the RBU is responsible for all decisions made on behalf of the Russian Federation," Maigurov stated. "As far as I understand, we must be responsible for the steps taken on our behalf as a public organization and if we are stripped of our membership there must be some criteria for restoring it."

"If a ruling is passed to deprive us of membership it will be a decision, which lacks legal grounds," he continued.

"We will definitely, come up with a response jointly with our lawyers within the period granted if such a ruling [on behalf of the IBU] is enforced," he said. "Another lawsuit is possible, but there are no reasons as of today to file it, because there are no legal reasons to suspend us [the RBU] in line with the RBU Constitution."

Last Thursday, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) has launched a procedure to suspend the membership of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) with immediate effect. The sport governing body also launched a similar procedure in regard to biathlon athletes representing Belarus.

On February 28, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments citing the ongoing situation involving Russia and Ukraine.

On March 2, the IBU issued a provisional suspension of all athletes from Russia and Belarus barring them indefinitely from international competitions.