The International Biathlon Union (IBU) will take over the governance of the Para biathlon following confirmation by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Para biathlon will be managed by the IBU in cooperation with the International Ski Federation (FIS) through a joint Steering Committee. Para biathlon will be integrated into FIS’ general para-sport initiative with the IBU supporting with technical knowledge of Biathlon and helping to further develop and improve the competition structure from low-level events through to World Cup and World Championships. Given Para biathlon and Para cross country share many of the same athletes it was agreed a coordinated approach was necessary to maximise efficiencies and opportunities for the athletes.
The Steering Committee will be made up of the President and Secretary General of the IBU and FIS.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the IPC, look forward to becoming an IPC member and thank them for their support as we welcome Para biathlon to the IBU family. Growing biathlon and making our sport as accessible as possible are key priorities and bringing Para biathlon under the IBU umbrella is fully aligned with these objectives set out in our strategic plan Target 26. We are grateful to FIS for their cooperation and look forward to working with them through the Steering Committee to ensure the continued development of Para biathlon around the world.”
IPC President, Andrew Parsons, said: “IPC and IBU showed a common vision about the future of Para biathlon since the beginning of the discussions about the transfer of governance. We are extremely proud of the work that has been done to develop the sport and the progress achieved while under the governance of the IPC. IBU’s commitment to the development and growth of Para biathlon bears testimony to that. We strongly believe that this can be achieved with IBU’s guidance and the support of FIS in the joint Steering Committee. I take this opportunity to thank IBU and its members, as much as all those who have been part of the development of Para biathlon throughout all these years.”
The decision follows the unanimous approval of the transfer from the IPC Governing Board during its meeting on 31 May 2022. At the 2021 IPC General Assembly IPC members approved the managed process for its organisation to cease acting as the international federation for 10 sports.