IBU Executive Board discusses plans to deliver safe 2020/21 biathlon season

IBU Executive Board discusses plans to deliver safe 2020/21 biathlon season

The IBU Executive Board (EB) met today, with scenario-planning for the upcoming 2020/21 season at the forefront of discussions.

The EB expressed its commitment to doing everything possible to deliver a safe and secure biathlon season as scheduled.

The IBU has been in close dialogue with all 25 IBU event organisers for next winter in recent months, to better understand the situation in their respective countries and cities.

The IBU has worked with the organisers to gather detailed information on their governments’ regulations, potential event-budget restrictions, and the expected financial impact of hosting events with COVID-19 safety regulations in place. This information has been used to determine where adjustments need to be made and how the IBU can maximise support for its event organisers.

As a result, no calendar changes have been made so far. However, recognising that the situation is ever-changing and evolving the IBU is also planning for a number of alternative scenarios. One of which includes determining which venues have free capacities in the winter in order to host additional events as part of an alternative schedule with reduced travelling in case any governments restrictions require such changes.

The EB agreed to decide the schedule for each trimester of the season separately, with dates to be set on when each decision will be taken. The decision on the schedule for the first trimester – the events in November and December – is planned around the next Executive Board meeting end of September. Once the schedule for the trimester is confirmed, continued flexibility will be required as the situation can change rapidly.

Protecting the health and wellbeing of everyone involved is the IBU’s first priority and the IBU will be guided by the advice of national health authorities. Moreover, the IBU has established a Medical Advisory Group, which includes the experienced physicians Dr Katja Mjosund (FIN), Prof. Dr Bernd Wolfarth (GER), Dr Lars Kolsrud (NOR) and Dr James Carrabre (CAN), who is also an IBU EB Member. All members of the group are already involved in COVID-19 related planning on a national or international level and their advice will greatly benefit the IBU’s evaluation of the situation and scenario planning. The group will be a constant advisory body to the IBU on medical issues. The IBU will continue to keep the biathlon family updated throughout the coming weeks and months.

During the meeting, the EB also received an update on the progress made on implementing Target 26, with a particular focus on the development of the sustainability strategy and digital strategy. Both documents are undergoing further refinement before they are due to be presented to the IBU Congress in November. The Development Department also provided a summary of its recent activities, including the progress on establishing the IBU Academy, and the EB discussed the principles for long-term National Federation support and contributions.

The EB received an update from the External Review Commission and their 12th interim report can be found here.

The latest updates concerning the operationally independent Biathlon Integrity Unit, which launched its new website www.biathlonintegrity.com last month, were also discussed.

The Executive Board was further informed about a letter sent by recently elected RBU President Victor Maygurov to resume talks within the criteria follow-up working group discussing the RBU resinstatement to full membership. The EB decided that the working group should hold a video conference in the next couple of weeks.