IBU progresses on implementation of Target 26 and governance reforms

IBU progresses on implementation of Target 26 and governance reforms

The IBU Executive Board (EB) met in Munich today to discuss the progress that has been made on implementing the IBU’s first-ever Strategic Plan – Target 26 – and the recently approved governance reforms.

Target 26 was approved on 20 October 2019 at the IBU Extraordinary Congress, establishing a clear roadmap for the federation to build on biathlon’s strong foundations and maximise its huge global potential. Since Target 26’s approval, the IBU has started to develop action plans for each of the Strategic Plan’s five targets.

The EB also heard an update on the set-up and implementation of the independent Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU). The BIU is responsible for investigating and centrally managing all integrity-related matters under the new IBU Integrity Code. The BIU board, which was approved by the IBU Congress, already held two board meetings. The BIU is a key element of the new IBU Constitution which ensures the IBU upholds the highest standards in good governance and transparency.

IBU President Olle Dahlin said:

“The IBU Extraordinary Congress marked the beginning of a new era for the IBU. Over the last month we have been working on implementing the plans and governance reforms we approved in October. We are pleased with the progress that has been made but it is going to be an ongoing process. Target 26 sets many short-term objectives and priorities to ensure we are constantly evolving and improving but ultimately, we are working with the long-term strategy to show that biathlon is a leading winter sport. With our new state-of-the-art Constitution, and its integrity measures, we have the framework that will ensure that the highest standards of good governance and transparency are upheld on this exciting journey for our sport.” 

In order to fulfil the tasks connected to the new Strategic Plan, the EB decided to further strengthen the structures in the IBU headquarters and to hire more staff for various departments.

The EB also discussed two topics under new EU legislation, firstly a ban of a specific type of fluorine used in ski waxes, which comes into effect in 2020:

The EB expressed its support for the legislation and acknowledged the apparent health risk and environmental concerns connected to fluorine waxes. The EB decided to form a working group, including external experts, to gain more knowledge on the issue and to ensure that any rules it will formulate in the future include efficient control systems to make sure there are fair conditions in biathlon.

The second EU topic discussed was a potential ban of lead in small bore bullets.

The IBU takes this issue very seriously and is also monitoring technical developments concerning shooting sport. The IBU will tackle the issue in a thoughtful way to ensure that any solution and response is in line with the respective EU requirements. Based on EU legislation procedure, it is expected that any potential restriction would not come into force until the end of the current Olympic cycle. The earliest the new legislation would come into effect is 2022. This would then be followed by a transition period.

The legislation process is still ongoing and so it is too soon to comment on any potential impact. The IBU, together with its national federations, will continue to do everything in its power to make sure that biathlon can still be exercised with the traditional small bore rifles. However, it cannot be ruled out that adjustments may have to be made in the future.

The IBU is committed to sustainability and minimising impact on the environment and so is assessing how the waste products from shooting (bullets and splinters) can be collected in a more effective way. The EB has also decided to form a working group which shall include external stakeholders.

During the EB meeting, updates were also provided on the progress made by the Russian Biathlon Union in fulfilling the 12 criteria required for full-membership reinstatement as well as an intermediate report by the External Review Commission.