The IBU Executive Board (EB) decided in a meeting today to award Tora Berger (NOR) and Kaisa Makarainen (FIN) as the Total Score winners of the IBU World Cup Biathlon 2013/2014. The decision follows a CAS verdict against Russian athlete Olga Zaitseva which has become legally binding recently. The sanctions by the Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU) against Zaitseva include her disqualification from nine competitions of the 2013/2014 for doping violations. The Total Score from that season has therefore been recalculated and resulted in Berger leading by a slight margin of four points ahead of Makarainen, who was originally ahead by five points at the conclusion of the season 2013/2014.
Since it is impossible to recreate the circumstances that each of those two athletes would have faced in the final competitions of the season and to champion fair play, the IBU EB has unanimously decided to award two Crystal Globes for the Women´s World Cup Total Score 2013/14 and declare Tora Berger and Kaisa Makarainen as winners. With this decision, the IBU has found a fair solution for both athletes based on the principle that clean athletes cannot be punished for the doping offenses of others. It also sends a strong message that, together with the BIU, the IBU will ensure those identified as being responsible for cheating, will be held accountable.
The IBU agreed with both athletes to have a common award ceremony at one of the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon events. Berger will also be awarded the additional prize money for the Total Score win.
Tora Berger said: “This is a fair and good decision for both of us. I would have felt really bad if Kaisa had to give back her Crystal Globe. I remember the fight for the overall title with Kaisa very well and she was the strongest in the last competitions. It would have been nice to win the title in the last competition of my career on that day but I was very happy with my career overall. It is very difficult for me to say how I feel about winning my second Crystal Globe for the Total Score now since so much time has passed since then.”
Kaisa Makarainen said: “I am really happy with this decision that I can keep my Crystal Globe and still be the Total Score winner 2013/2014. It is the fairest solution to award two Globes and I am very happy for Tora. Of course, winning the Globe seven years later is not the same as winning it on the competition day and she didn’t get all the benefits that come with such a big win. It is always disappointing to hear about a doping offence of a competitor, which causes a recalculation of results since this can never bring back the real circumstances of the actual competition. I just hope not to go through this again and wish that the present and future of our sport is doping-free and that we can trust the results which we see on the competition day.”