IBU Executive Board Takes Further Action to Strengthen Anti-Doping and Good Governance
The IBU Executive Board met in Hochfilzen during stage two of the IBU Biathlon World Cup to discuss and implement further measures that will strengthen the federation’s anti-doping programme and put in place more robust good governance structures and policies.
The Executive Board announced it had received the first interim report of the External Review Commission, which led by British lawyer Jonathan Taylor QC, was appointed by the IBU to conduct a full investigation into all historic anti-doping, compliance, ethical and disciplinary matters. The interim report can be found here.
The Executive Board revealed it will appoint an additional independent anti-doping officer at its events to further enhance the federation’s anti-doping programme and agreed the members of its recently established Ethics Commission, which will be published in due course. The allocation formula for the additional development contribution for National Federations was also decided as the IBU aims to provide greater support to its members.
The Executive Board reiterated that it will not take any action against the Russian biathlon team at this time, in part because the Austrian authorities have not provided any additional information to the IBU concerning the ongoing investigations, beyond what was published. But the Executive Board confirmed that IBU representatives will travel to Moscow next week for a meeting with the RBU for a first status review of the 12 criteria which were presented to the RBU in November and which must be fulfilled in order for the federation to be reinstated as a full member.
IBU President Olle Dahlin addressed international media following yesterday’s Executive Board meeting and promised the IBU would continue to make institutional reforms to restore trust in biathlon and ensure that the spotlight could return to the sport. President Dahlin said:
“I am very happy to be here. This is an element I like: to be close to the sport. I have been in biathlon more or less my whole life. The season opener was excellent and we had very high viewers figures so we have an excellent platform for our sport.
“It’s three months since the Congress in Poreč when we started our journey into the new era. You always have to improve and we look forward now to plan for our future. It is so important to make the strategy for the future. We have started the work and we have sent to all stakeholders the first survey to ask for input into our strategic plan. We will summarise that and then have workshops with all our stakeholders including athletes, media and National Federations. From this we will make a plan for the next four plus four years.
“We also have a full review of our Constitution. What is so important is that we focus on good governance. There are a lot of items to settle for the new Constitution and how we can improve good governance. We have to ‘clean the room’. You are fully aware some bad things have happened inside the IBU, now it is so important to gain the trust, especially from the athletes. We will work very carefully and we have established an independent External Review Commission that will look into breaches of our Constitution and rules.”
Since his election in September 2018, IBU President Dahlin has worked closely with the newly formed Executive Board to implement a number of reforms to strengthen the federation’s governance and safeguard it from future misconduct. While good progress has been made, as was recognised by the IOC when IOC President Bach endorsed the reforms and reinstated the IBU’s Olympic funding, there is plenty more to be done.
Since the President’s election, the IBU has also adopted an amended Code of Ethics which includes a whislteblower policy and the establishment of an independent Ethics Commission. The IBU Athletes Committee chair was made a voting member of the Executive Board to ensure athletes’ interests were represented at the decision-making level of the IBU.
From an anti-doping perspective, the independent iNADO audit concluded that the IBU’s anti-doping programme was good but that there was room for improvement. The IBU subsequently partnered with the International Testing Agency to support on the delivery of the programme and ensure its independence and high-quality. The IBU also established a policy that IBU events are only awarded to, and hosted by, member federations who have code-compliant National Anti-Doping Organisations. This ruling was immediately put into effect and was reflected in the IBU’s competition calendar for 2020-22.