IBU Official Statement
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently reached out to its stakeholders to update them on the latest progress made by the IOC Disciplinary Commission. A letter sent by the Chair of the IOC Disciplinary Commission Denis Oswald to the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Angela Ruggiero detailed the key points of the progress made. https://hub.olympic.org
As you must already be aware, the IOC Disciplinary Commission was tasked by the IOC Executive Board to look into the alleged doping violations by Russian athletes and their entourage at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. For the IOC Disciplinary Commission who is conducting the investigation, these alleged violations are not regular doping cases where adverse analytical findings (AAF) have been established by an accredited laboratory, which would allow the IOC Disciplinary Commission to easily sanction the athletes concerned. Thus the IOC Disciplinary Commission is required to investigate other evidence of possible anti-doping rule violations such as tampering or manipulation, if not the use of prohibited substances cannot be established.
The need for legal evidence to support the prosecution of individual cases has been of great importance to the manner in which the samples have been reviewed. The IOC Disciplinary Commission has had to establish a legally-defendable methodology and new analysis procedure beyond that used in the McLaren Report. This required the validation of the new methodology by external experts and the training of specialized staff before the first analyses were able to be conducted. In the fight against doping, the IBU supports any action that guarantees clean sport, and justice for those who commit rule violations. However, while cheaters must be suspended, any ruling must be based on facts, rather than on assumptions.
The IBU therefore highly appreciates the fact that the IOC has established a scientific methodology that is able to differentiate between marks and scratches from normal use, and the intentional manipulation of samples. It is important to have this tool in place before any ruling is passed. It is good that this methodology is now finalized and can be used for any IOC ruling in similar situations.
However, as far as biathlon is concerned, this methodology will only be applicable to two cases, to two athletes who have both already retired. There is therefore absolutely no risk of current active biathletes starting with athletes who might possibly have breached the Anti-Doping Rules during the 2014 OWGs in Sochi.
The case Glazyrina vs IBU was heard before the Panel last week. The Panel’s ruling is expected before the start of the upcoming season. Moreover, regardless of when the final ruling is passed, the athlete concerned has been suspended and will therefore not be starting.
The IBU firmly maintains its position that the protection of clean athletes and the fight against doping are of the highest priority, and that the IBU must have zero tolerance for rule violations. It is however absolutely crucial to treat all athletes equally until legal evidence proves differently. The IBU has full confidence in the work and procedures of the IOC Disciplinary Commission with regard to result management of the IOC cases from the McLaren report.