IBU cancels Olympic ski testing event in China
Due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in China, the ski testing event in the Beijing 2022 Olympic biathlon venue Zhangjiakou, originally scheduled for 27 February– 2 March 2020, has been cancelled. This has been agreed after consultation between the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) and the IBU. This decision follows a generel IOC recommendation.
IBU Secretary-General Niklas Carlsson said:
“The IBU takes the health of all athletes, coaches, teams and staff extremely seriously. Due to the spread of the Coronavirus and the declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, the IBU and BOCOG have agreed to cancel the ski testing event in Beijing in the interests of the health and safety of all those involved. We will keep monitoring the situation on the ground and hope to offer an alternative date for the ski tests in the future. Meanwhile, the IBU’s preparations for the Olympic Winter Games 2022 will continue as normal.”
The IBU has been in close contact with the Chinese biathlon team in recent weeks about the current medical situation in China. Head Coach Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Team leader Liu Hao have reassured the IBU that none of the Chinese team members have been in their home country since the beginning of November 2019:
“All athletes and staff members of the Chinese biathlon team have been in Europe since the beginning of November, and since then have not had any direct contact with any persons traveling from China. No new athletes or staff members will join the team for the upcoming World Championships in Antholz. All team members have gone through continuous testing to ensure their health.
Moreover, our team doctors are keeping up to date on the situation in China and are strictly following the guidelines provided by the Chinese Olympic Committee.”
The IBU ski testing event is a trip offered to National Federations by the IBU, usually at the time in the year that the future Olympic Games will be hosted, to give wax technicians a chance to visit the Olympic venue and get to know the environment, like snow conditions and temperature, on the ground.