IBU Stakeholder Information on Coronavirus

IBU Stakeholder Information on Coronavirus

Dear biathlon friends,

The IBU is following the latest news and information around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, fans and officials is of paramount importance to the IBU and we are seeking to reduce the risk caused by coronavirus while minimising disruption to our events.

As you all know, the situation has escalated in recent days and many countries around the world are now facing a critical situation. Numerous sports events have already been cancelled and travel restrictions have been applied. The IBU therefore wants to inform you about the (potential) consequences for our sport.

As a principal, the IBU will follow any regulations and demands made by national authorities or international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. Any potential IBU decision to make changes to the planned event schedule will be made primarily on the policies and requests of the respective national authorities (of the event hosts). We are in close contact on this matter with all our Organising Committees of the remaining IBU events this season in the Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Germany, Austria and Belarus.

  • Will the remaining IBU events be held?

As of today, Friday 28 February 2020, the IBU has not been requested or advised by the relevant authorities to cancel any of the remaining IBU events. The preparations for the rest of the season continue as planned. However, the IBU continues to monitor the situation in real time and remains in close regular contact with the health authorities to ensure that we have the very latest information available. Should the situation change, the IBU will alert all biathlon stakeholders as soon as possible. It is highly likely that our events will be effected in some kind or form.

  • What action might the IBU take?

If required to do so by the relevant authorities, the IBU could have to cancel an event to protect the wellbeing of everyone involved. Some countries have already forbidden mass gatherings, which has led to sport events being closed to spectators. If this scenario arises for biathlon, the IBU will decide together with the Organising Committees how to conduct the event and how to minimize the impact to the hosts. 

The IBU will also examine if there are any precautionary measures to be taken onsite before and during the events.

  • Will all NFs be able to participate in IBU events without restriction?

The respective authorities of each event host are responsible for determining any potential restrictions on individuals entering into their country. This is out of the IBU’s control and so we cannot guarantee that all nations are allowed to travel to all events for the remainder of the season. A partial ban affecting some nations is a most difficult scenario in terms of fair play as this would prevent an eligible athlete from competing.

Should restrictions at our future events be imposed, the IBU can assure you that we will seek the best possible solution, in agreement with the affected federations, teams, organisers and commercial stakeholders.

  • What can you do?

As stated above, the IBU is in constant dialogue with organisers and authorities and will inform all stakeholders immediately, if there are changes or updates to be reported.

We strongly recommend that all National Federations closely follow the guidance provided by their national authorities and health experts. It is also very important to provide the latest medical advice to athletes and thus we suggest following the information on the IOC’s Athlete365 platform:

• Coronavirus Outbreak Advice for Athletes

• IOC Medical and Scientific Director, Dr Richard Budgett, advises on the Coronavirus