In October 2019, the IBU adopted a new Constitution and overhauled its governance structure. Some of the key changes under the new Constitution included adopting a comprehensive Integrity Code and entrusting the handling of all integrity-related matters to a Biathlon Integrity Unit.
The Biathlon Integrity Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of the Integrity Code (e.g. doping, corruption, betting, general misconduct, harassment/abuse, etc), and ensuring that the IBU complies with its obligations under the World Anti-Doping Code and its other governance and ethical compliance obligations under the Constitution and other IBU rules.
The Integrity Unit is part of the IBU, but it is operationally independent. It has its own board, staff, and rules.
The Integrity Unit Board sets strategy and direction, and has ultimate decision-making power. The Board is made up of three independent members (appointed by Congress), and two non-voting members (a nominated IBU Executive Board member and the Head of Unit).
The day-to-day operations of the Integrity Unit are managed by the Head of Unit and staff members.
The Vetting Panel (made up of the three independent members of the Integrity Unit Board) is responsible for determining if a person is 'Eligible' to become or remain an IBU Official, staff member, or (in some cases) International Referee. In essence, anyone who works for or with the IBU needs to meet certain eligibility criteria (e.g. no serious criminal convictions/doping violations, not bankrupt, etc).
The Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes suspected violations of the Integrity Code, based on reports it receives or the results of its own investigations. If a case is brought:
1. any alleged breach of the anti-doping rules will first go to the CAS Anti-Doping Division (replacing the former IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel); and
2. any other alleged breach of the Integrity Code will first go to the CAS Ordinary Division.
In both cases, there is a right of appeal to the CAS Appeals Division.
Biathlon stakeholders can have confidence that the Integrity Unit will investigate and determine whether to bring proceedings independently and impartially. Having an operationally independent Integrity Unit means that the IBU will not have any conflict of interest in dealing with potential violations of the Integrity Code.
The Integrity Code is a new regulation that consolidates all integrity-related rules into one rulebook (including the rules that were in the former Code of Ethics and the anti-doping rules, among others). A key addition is that participants (including athletes) have a duty to report any information about a potential violation of (or invitation to violate) the Integrity Code.