IBU and Johannes Thingnes Boe agree removal of points from World Cup Pursuit in Soldier Hollow
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) and Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) have mutually agreed that the Norwegian will not be awarded the 43 points allocated for his 4th place finish at the World Cup Pursuit at Soldier Hollow (USA), 16 February 2019. The World Cup leader further agreed to distribute the prize money of € 7.000 earned at this competition to the athletes ranked behind him in accordance with the official price money table.
The mutual decision was taken in the spirit of fair play after Boe informed the IBU that he had fired only four of his five bullets at the last standing shooting, which the IBU later confirmed using television footage, and that he arrived at the finish with a remaining bullet in his magazine. The bullet was found in the magazine after the race, but due to miscommunication inside the referee group, this instance was not reported to the competition jury in time before the official result was made public. The IBU acknowledges that this miscommunication led to the inactivity of the competition jury, when it should actually have deliberated the case. In addition, the IBU will review the sport technical control procedure to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Felix Bitterling, IBU Sports Director, commented:
“This was an unfortunate circumstance but working with Johannes we believe we have found the best possible solution in line with the IBU Regulatory framework. After the miscommunication inside the sports technical group in Soldier Hollow, it was legally not possible to amend the official results afterwards. Equally, it would not have been fair for Johannes to be awarded points and prize money when the TV pictures clearly showed the mistake. We know Johannes and his attitude towards fair play and so we were positive he would want to ensure that the integrity of our competitions remained intact. We believe we have reached the best possible settlement to this issue thanks to Johannes’ willingness to act in the best interest of the sport: no disqualification, but points and prize money earned in the competition are taken away.”
Johannes Thingnes Boe said:
“The case is closed for me. I had already approached the officials on site immediately and admitted the rule breach was my own fault. I want to point out that I would not have received any punishment if I had not come forward myself. My wish is that the IBU will do everything they can to prevent such mistakes in the future. It is never easy to give up World Cup points, but I also hope that other athletes can find the motivation and strength to be honest like me in the spirit of fair play, and take responsibility for their future mistakes in case the IBU cannot go back on their own jury decisions.”
According to the IBU Competition Rules the competition jury accepted this procedure.