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IBU abridges rights of Russian Biathlon Union

IBU President Anders Besseberg said that the Russian Biathlon Union has been stripped of the right to vote at congresses and nominate its candidates
IBU President Anders Besseberg EPA/MARTIN SCHUTT, archive
IBU President Anders Besseberg

HOCHFILZEN /Austria/, December 10. /TASS/. The Executive Board of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) has decided to abridge the rights of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) over doping abuses, IBU President Anders Besseberg said on Sunday.

According to Besseberg, the Russian Biathlon Union has been stripped of the right to vote at congresses and nominate its candidates.

The IBU Executive Board met on Sunday to discuss the situation following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision of December 5 to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee’s membership over multiple doping abuse allegations, thus banning the Russian national team from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang under the national flag.

The IOC accused Russia of systematic abuse of anti-doping rules at various sporting events, including the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The IOC vowed however to observe the rights of clean athletes. Those who match the proposed criteria may be invited to the 2018 Games as "Olympic athletes from Russia," under a flag with five rings, it said.

"The IBU Executive Board herewith relegates the RBU to provisional membership (Art. 16.12 Constitution) with the limited membership rights as set out in Art. 15 of the Constitution.

The IBU Executive Board will review restitution of the RBU to full membership at a later date but not before the end of the 2017/2018 competition season, subject to the following conditions:

(a) the IOC has lifted the suspension of the ROC;

(b) no adverse analytical findings or other anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) of Russian biathletes committed after 1 January 2017 have been reported;

(c) the RBU fully cooperates with any investigation of any alleged ADRVs in the context of, and the involvement of officials in, the alleged doping conspiracy that was described by the IP Report, Dr Rodchenkov’s affidavits and the IOC Disciplinary Commission ("Schmid Commission") Report," the IBU said in a press release.

According to the document, RBU’s provisional membership may be extended if the IBU deems that the RBU fails to meet these conditions.

The decision was geared to "encourage the RBU to become more active in the fight against doping, to assist in the discovery of any doping manipulations in Russia and to enforce strict compliance with the applicable anti-doping rules and policies," the IBU said.

Nevertheless, the Executive Board ruled that Victor Maygurov of Russia would continue as IBU Vice President.

Apart from that, the IBU Executive Board decided not to relocate the final event of the 2017/2018 season’s World Cup from Russia’s Tyumen on March 22-25, 2018 to another venue.

In July 2016, the IOC set up two separate commissions to probe doping abuse allegations in Russian sports as well as the alleged involvement of state officials in manipulations with performance enhancing drugs, particularly at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.

The first of the two commissions is an Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid. The commission is looking into accusations set out in the McLaren report that alleges the existence of a supposed institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were allegedly engaged in.

The second investigative body at the issue is a Disciplinary Commission, chaired by IOC Member Denis Oswald. This commission is tasked to address alleged doping uses and tampering of samples concerning the Russian athletes, who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.

Upon the decisions of the Oswald-led commission, 22 Russian athletes have already been banned for life from performing in the Olympics. They are bobsleigh racers Alexander Kasyanov, Alexey Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin, cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Alexey Petukhov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova; skeleton racers Alexander Tretyakov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsyna, Maria Orlova and Sergey Chudinov, bobsledders Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Negodailo, Dmitri Trunenkov and Olga Stulneva, speed skaters Olga Fatkulina and Alexander Rumyantsev, biathletes Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova.