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World’s governing biathlon body extends suspension of Russian athletes

The Congress also voted for extending the suspension of Belarusian biathletes

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has decided to maintain its suspension of the Russian Biathlon Union.

The voting was held at an IBU Congress in Austria’s Salzburg on Friday. The ballot count showed 40 delegates supported the decision, while one opposed it, and four abstained. In addition, one vote was recognized invalid.

The Congress also voted for extending the suspension of Belarusian biathletes.

The suspension will be lifted when the Russian and Belarusian Biathlon Unions demonstrate their commitment to the IBU’s goals and principles. Thus, they are supposed to clearly distance themselves from the special operation in Ukraine and guarantee that neither athletes, nor the unions’ officials have ever taken part in combat operations.

Earlier in the day, the IBU Congress extended its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes, prohibiting them from participating in competition under its auspices.

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. On September 8, the IOC Executive Board ruled to maintain the sanctions against Russian athletes, saying that their suspension from international tournaments over the situation in Ukraine was a kind of a protective measure to prevent any politicization of sport.

In March, the IBU, the world’s governing biathlon body, barred Russian and Belarusian biathletes from taking part in international competitions and suspended the membership of these countries’ federations.