IBU postpones full fluor wax ban; most harmful fluor products remain banned

The IBU today announced that a full fluor wax ban will be postponed to the 2023/2024 season in order to allow time for further refinement of the fluor testing device and of procedures to protect the integrity of biathlon competitions.

Extensive testing of the fluor detection device, together with experts from National Federations and the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS), led to the conclusion that more time was needed to check new fluor-free waxes to provide accurate results. Testing of new products is ongoing.

The ban on possessing, applying, using, selling, giving out, or trading any products containing C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA, which was introduced last season will remain in place for the 2022/2023 season. This ban is in line with EU Regulation 2019/1021 (“POP-regulation”) and EC Regulation 1907/2006 („REACH“-regulation), which regulate the handling of PFOAs found in high-chain (C8) fluorocarbon waxes.

The IBU will improve on the setup of the previous season to implement this regulation. This means all National Federations and wax companies accredited for an IBU event will again be required to sign a declaration stating that their teams and staff participating in IBU events will adhere to this ban. Frequent spot checks of materials in use by teams, ski wax companies and individuals at each IBU event will also be applied at the upcoming season.

The IBU will increase the systematic collection and testing of samples during the upcoming season 2022/2023. The close cooperation with National Federations and FIS will continue to further refine the detection system and define the practical implementation processes and regulations which will ensure the fair implementation of a full ban of all fluor waxes for the season 2023/2024. The ban is intended to reduce risks to human health and the environment coming from chemicals found in fluorocarbon products used in ski preparation.

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