IBU sanctions National Federations in possession of prohibited fluorine wax

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) today published the list of National Federations which have been sanctioned for possessing waxes containing C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA above the allowed threshold, in violation of the IBU Event and Competition rules for the 2021/2022 season.

The National Federations are: Moldova and Lithuania

As a first-time offence, both National Federations have received a fine of several thousand Euros. A second violation will result in a higher financial fine and a third violation would see that National Federation banned from the next IBU event.

All National Federations and wax companies accredited for IBU events this season were required to sign a declaration stating that their teams and staff participating in IBU events would follow the IBU rules and EU / ECHA regulations. Participation in an event was not permitted unless this declaration was signed.

In its Event and Competition Rules, the IBU introduced the ban on possessing, applying, using, selling, giving-out or trading any products containing C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA above the allowed threshold in line with EU Regulation 2019/1021 (“POP-regulation”) and EC Regulation 1907/2006 („REACH“-regulation), which regulates the handling of high-carbon fluorine waxes.

The ban of these defined high-carbon fluorine waxes was also implemented due to the detrimental effect these waxes can have on people’s health and the environment. Given this health risk and environmental impact, the IBU is committed to introducing a complete ban of all fluor products in the future. To this end, the IBU keeps working together with the wax industry and wax technicians to develop a reliable fluor testing device to scan skis on-site before the competitions.

The IBU conducts spot checks at teams’ wax cabins at all IBU events to test for the presence of C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA. A and B samples are taken during the tests. The A sample is sent to the laboratory and the B sample remains with the Biathlon Integrity Unit. Should the A sample test positive, the National Federation is asked to comment on the violation before it goes to a group of IBU Executive Board (EB) Members acting on behalf of the EB for immediate sanction. National Federations can either accept the penalty or request the opening of the B sample at their own cost. Should the B sample return a negative result no costs will be applied to the National Federation and the sanction will be withdrawn.

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