Update: IBU Statement on World Cup in Oslo, Kontiolahti and Junior OECH
Update 13 March 2020:
Due to the rapidly-evolving situation around the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following close consultation with coaches and national team leaders, the IBU has decided that the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon in Kontiolahti will conclude tomorrow (14 March) after the Men and Women Pursuit Competitions; marking the end of the 2019/2020 season. The mixed relay competitions scheduled for Sunday 15 March will not take place.
The IBU regrets the premature ending to this year’s season; however, the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, officials and event staff is of paramount importance and it was agreed that this represents the best compromise in the given situation.
Update 12 March 2020, 16:45 CET:
The IBU can confirm that due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Norway, the Norwegian authorities have not permitted the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon to be held in Oslo next week.
The IBU therefore explored an alternative option of remaining in Kontiolahti for the World Cup final. However, given the latest announcements made by the Finnish government to cancel all events with more than 500 participants and taking into account the general developments connected to the spread of COVID-19, the IBU Executive Board has unanimously decided to cancel the World Cup final. The IBU has always said that ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, officials and event staff is of paramount importance and the decision reflects our commitment to minimising the risks caused by COVID-19. We also want to make sure that the whole biathlon family can travel home safely without facing restrictions.
The season 2019/2020 will end with the last competition in Kontiolahti. The calculation of the Total Cup Score will not change; the worst two results of each athlete will be scratched from the results list for the total score.
Update 12 March 2020, 15:00 CET:
The IBU has taken note of the recommendation by the Finnish Government and health authorities to cancel all events with more than 500 participants. The IBU and the Kontiolahti Organising Committee and Finnish Biathlon Federation together with the authorities of the municipality of Kontiolahti and the City of Joensuu will fully implement the recommendations made by the Finnish government this afternoon and close the event for the public from today, 12 March 2020. Moreover, the number of people involved at the venue at the same time will be reduced to below 500 to guarantee that the competitions can go ahead as planned until Sunday. The competition schedule for Kontiolahti will not change.
Update 11 March 2020:
The IBU and the Holmenkollen Organising Committee are in close contact with the Norwegian health authorities and the Municipality of Oslo to investigate if, and under what circumstances, the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon in Oslo (20-22 March 2020) can take place. We hope to be able to communicate a final decision by tomorrow evening.
According to information provided by the Finnish organisers today, the IBU can inform that the BMW IBU World Cup in Kontiolahti is proceeding as planned.
Statement 10 March 2020:
The IBU has taken note of the recommendation by the Norwegian health authorities to cancel all events with more than 500 participants. The IBU and the Holmenkollen Organising Committee are in contact with the authorities to understand the consequences and details of this decision, in particular if the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon in Oslo (20-22 March 2020) can take place at all. We will announce updates in due course.
Junior Open European Championships in Hochfilzen (AUT)
Due to the dynamic situation concerning the spread of the Coronavirus and increasing measures taken by the authorities, the jury of the Junior Open European Championships in Hochfilzen together with the IBU leadership decided to change the competition schedule for the JOECH. The sprint competitions will now be held on Thursday (instead of Saturday) to guarantee that the individual starts are held as soon as possible. The competition jury will convene again tomorrow and decide about the further programme of the JOECH. A single mixed relay and mixed relay as well as a pursuit are originally also scheduled over the upcoming days.