IBU initiates suspension of National Federations of Russia and Belarus and launches solidarity programme for Ukrainian biathlon

The IBU Executive Board announced that following the proposal of the Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU), it has taken the decision to start procedures for the suspensions of the National Federations of Russia and Belarus with immediate effect.

The decision follows the IBU EB’s previous measures to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at IBU events in order to protect athletes and the sporting integrity of its competitions. The IBU EB agreed on additional steps on the basis that the Russian and Belarusian National Federations as representatives of their nations failed to uphold their humanitarian obligations in the spirit of the IBU Constitution. The suspension would be reviewed regularly by the EB, run through to the next Ordinary Congress in September 2022 and depend on the future development of the situation and behaviour of the suspended associations. Both National Federations were informed about the decision yesterday and have seven days to react. After this period, the EB will consider the answers and take a final decision on the suspension.

The IBU EB also announced it has partnered with the National Federations of Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland to provide much-needed support to the Ukrainian biathlon community. The IBU will work with the eight National Federations taking part in the project to host training camps for Ukrainian athletes and teams of all categories as soon as it is possible for them to travel outside of their country.

IBU President Olle Dahlin said:

“The IBU thanks the eight National Federations for their generosity and willingness to assist us with this programme for the Ukrainian biathlon community. While it is these National Federations that can support this project, we know that the whole biathlon family is united behind it and standing in solidarity with Ukraine.”

IBU Vice-President Jiri Hamza, who is the EB representative for the project, said:

“Now, at such a grave time, sport is rightly far from people’s minds. But we want to ensure that when the time allows, we are ready to support the Ukrainian biathlon community in the best way we can. Like everyone in the international community, we are horrified by what we are seeing take place in Ukraine and we desperately hope that a peaceful resolution can be found as soon as possible. The solidarity programme is a strong signal of support from the whole biathlon family.”

The camps will also include the provision of biathlon equipment, as required. The IBU and National Federations will activate their existing networks and suppliers to secure equipment at no, or minimal cost. In addition, the IBU will donate up to €250,000 to the project. The precise details of the project including number of participants and the venues and duration of the training camps will be confirmed at a later date when the situation allows for such planning.

The EB also decided the budget for the next fiscal year 2022/2023. The EB announced that according to this budget, contributions to the National Federations will rise by a third, for Organising Committees by two thirds and that prize money will see a 40% increase. The total amount of these direct contributions adds up to over €33 million, which equals over 70% of IBU’s total budget for the next fiscal year.

Lastly, the EB agreed that the duties of outgoing IBU Sports & Event Director Felix Bitterling would be distributed on an interim basis between IBU Secretary General Niklas Carlsson, IBU Sports & Events Manager Daniel Böhm and Race Director World Cup Borut Nunar.

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