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World’s governing biathlon body IBU set to extend suspension of Russian athletes

The IBU stated that the Congress was scheduled to be held in Salzburg between September 15 and 18, 2022

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) has recommended the organization’s Congress to extend indefinitely the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international sports tournaments, IBU’s press office said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the published statement the Executive Board is "seeking confirmation by the IBU Congress for its earlier decision that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will continue to not be allowed to compete in international events until further notice to protect athlete safety and the integrity of the IBU competitions."

The world’s governing body of biathlon also stated that: "The IBU Executive Board has decided to recommend to the IBU Congress to maintain the suspension of the [Russian Biathlon Union] RBU’s and [Belarussian Federation of Biathlon] BiFB’s membership of the IBU until certain conditions are met," the statement reads.

The IBU stated that "the two motions will be presented to the IBU Congress" for approval and the Congress is scheduled to be held in Salzburg between September 15 and 18, 2022.

"According to the IBU Constitution, a suspension of a member National Federation by the Executive Board applies until the next Congress and needs to be reviewed by the membership," the statement added.

The International Biathlon Union launched on March 17 a procedure to suspend the membership of the Russian Biathlon Union with immediate effect. The world’s governing body of biathlon also launched a similar procedure in regard to biathlon athletes representing Belarus.

On March 29, the IBU Executive Board announced its decision to suspend the membership of sports federations from Russia and Belarus. The IBU also stated that biathlon skiers representing Russia and Belarus would have no right submitting individual applications to participate in tournaments organized by the International Biathlon Union.

Russia’s global sports isolation

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 Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

Following the IOC’s recommendations in late February, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with Germany’s Sport Bild that it was still early to alter IOC’s February recommendations regarding Russia and Belarus. He said in particular "We still do not recommend inviting athletes from Russia and Belarus to tournaments. They still have no anthems, no flags, no national colors."