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Former IBU Executive and Son Suspended for Two Years

On Monday, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Anti-Doping Tribunal announced its ruling in the case of Gottlieb Taschler, formerly the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) vice president for sport, and his son Daniel, who was alleged to have doped between 2010 and 2011 in an effort to make the Italian Biathlon World Cup team.

The two were found guilty of cheating after an investigation revealed Daniel, a 29-year-old former Italian B-team biathlete who hasn’t raced since December 2014, received “micro-doses of EPO cycles” administered by Michele Ferrari between late 2010 and early 2011, according to Neveitalia.it.

While a criminal trial is still ongoing, the father and son were found guilty at the sporting level and each received two-year bans until June 12, 2018. Daniel was suspended for violating Article 2.2 of the Sports Anti-Doping Rules: use or attempted use of a banned substance or method. Gottlieb, president of the Anterselva World Cup organizing committee, was suspended for violating Article 2.9 in aiding and encouraging the cover up. The two may appeal to the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In December 2014, Gottlieb stepped down from his post at the IBU. He and Daniel were indicted nearly a year later in late November 2015. A well-known doctor in the doping world, Ferrari had already been banned for life for participating in doping activities by the Italian cycling federation, and also banned by the U.S. Antidoping Agency (USADA) for working with Lance Armstrong, among other American cyclists.

As Neveitalia pointed out, the ruling is a huge blow to Anterselva’s bid for a World Cup in 2020 or 2021. Gottlieb, 55, a former Italian biathlete, earned bronze in the relay at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

US Biathlon’s 2016/2017 Nominations; Plus Bonus Drone Video

On Wednesday, the US Biathlon International Competition Committee announced its nominations for the 2016/2017 national team and development groups via a press release. US Biathlon also filmed the above “experimental aerial” video from biathlon nationals. Click here to see it on YouTube. National A Team Women Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), A 1 Team Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), A 2 Team Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.), A 3 Team National A Team Men Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), A 1 Team Tim Burke (Lake Placid, N.Y.), A 1 Team Sean Doherty (Center Conway N.H.), A 2 Team Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.), A 2 Team X Team Women Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) Men Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho) Jake Brown (Houghton, Mich.) National Development Group – Seniors Women Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury, Vt.) Men Patrick Johnson (Truckee, Calif.) Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.) Alex Howe (Craftsbury, Vt.) National Development Group – Youth / Juniors Women Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn.) Claire Waichler (Winthrop, Wash.) Men Brendan Cyr (Caribou, Maine)…

Another Positive Doping Test for Biathlon, Possibly Meldonium

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced on Wednesday that another athlete has tested positive for a hormone or metabolic modulator. It is possible that this substance is meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List on January 1, 2016. If so, that would add to the list of Olga Ambramova, the first biathlete to test positive for the substance, and later Artem Tyshchenko of Ukraine, as well as Eduard Latypov of Russia. However, without further details from the IBU, it is not possible to say whether the positive is for meldonium or some other hormone. The athlete has not yet been identified, with the IBU only specifying that the sample was collected during an out-of-competition test in March. The suspension is provisional pending a decision on the “B” sample. The IBU emphasized that the athlete should not take part in organized sport during the ongoing disciplinary process. “No…

Bailey and Egan Hold Solid for Pursuit Wins at NorAm Championships

NorAm Championship racing continued on Friday in Fort Kent, Maine, with pursuit competitions for all age categories. In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, Lowell Bailey held onto his lead from the sprint despite three penalties, all coming in standing. (A recent analysis by the blog Real Biathlon revealed that Bailey is the athlete on the World Cup with one of the biggest disparities between prone and standing shooting: in prone he hit 94.2 percent of his shots, but in standing just 79.8.) National team buddy Tim Burke missed only one shot, also in standing, and maintained almost exactly the same gap from the sprint: he made up one second to finish 48 seconds behind Bailey. Sean Doherty again earned bronze, +1:39, after a successful World Cup season. Patrick Johnson of the USBA X Team moved up to claim fourth, +6:00, while Ethan Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project shot three penalties to move all the way from eleventh…

Bailey, Egan Win NorAm Champs Sprints

The U.S. biathlon community is converging on Fort Kent, Maine, this weekend for combined U.S. Nationals and NorAm Championships. For the first time in several years, the World Cup circuit ended a week before and the senior national team is in attendance, growing the size of the field and the prestige of the titles. In the men’s 10 k sprint on Thursday, Lowell Bailey topped the standings in 25:07.3 with only one penalty, coming in prone. With fast skiing despite the long World Cup tour, that put him head and shoulders about fellow national-teamers Tim Burke and Sean Doherty. With two penalties, Burke’s time was 49.1 seconds back, narrowly edging Doherty, who had one penalty, by just half a second. Casey Smith of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project was fourth, +1:48.0, followed by USBA X Team athlete Patrick Johnson, +1:56.9. Both also had one penalty. In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, national team member Clare Egan missed just a…

Gow and Vaillancourt Earn Mass Start Wins; Albertans 1-2 in Nationals Relay

Canadian National Championships continued over the weekend in Valcartier, Quebec, with mass start competitions for juniors and seniors on Saturday and then mixed relay competitions on Sunday. In the men’s 15 k mass start, Christian Gow took his second title of the week, an 8.9-second win over fellow national team member Scott Perras. Gow had four penalties to Perras’s six over the course of four shooting stages; and crucially, one fewer in the final shooting stage. Matthew Neumann was also in the mix, finishing third with four penalties, +11.5. There was a break before Matthew Hudec crossed the line in fourth, +1:32.6, and Carsen Campbell in fifth, +2:19.7. The junior men had a 12.5 k mass start, with Aidan Millar picking up a big win, a minute and six seconds ahead of Alexandre Dupuis though both had three penalties. In the women’s 12.5 k mass start, Audrey Vaillancourt earned her first title of the week after being on the…

Canadian Biathlon Nationals Kick Off in Valcartier

Canadian national championships for biathlon kicked off in Valcartier, Quebec, on Wednesday, with national team veteran Scott Perras earning a national title in the 10 k sprint. With a single penalty over two shooting bouts, Perras held off Christian Gow – newly returned from World Championships in Oslo, where he earned relay bronze with the rest of the Canadian team – by 25.4 seconds, thanks in part to Gow’s two penalties. Also with a single penalty, Matthew Neumann finished third, +1:22.7. In the junior men’s sprint of the same distance, Aidan Millar earned a 19.4-second win over Pearce Hanna despite three missed shots to Hanna’s one. In the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint, Adam Runnals won by 40.4 seconds over Ben Churchill, likewise with three penalties to Churchill’s one. In the afternoon the women hit the course with Emma Lunder claiming the 7.5 k sprint crown. Lunder had three penalties,…

European Championships Roundup: Tyumen Pursuits and Mass Starts

By Harald Zimmer It would be understandable if this week, Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko experienced the type of nightmare where you are trying to run away from someone, but your legs seem to idle and you just cannot gain any ground. The figure chasing her in her dreams might be a young woman in the bright red spandex race suit of the Norwegian ski team. Saturday was the windiest day of the competition week at the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia. Nadezda Skardino of Belarus managed to cope best with the difficult conditions, shooting clean in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit until the final standing stage, when she incurred two penalties narrowly missing her first and last shot (0+0+0+2). Regardless, she came out of the penalty lap and back on the course with a small lead to Germany’s Karolin Horchler who had shot clean in her last shooting,…

Sisters Lead German Sprint Sweep; Garanichev Wins Second Gold in Tyumen 

By Harald Zimmer Three German biathletes swept the podium in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) 2016 Open European Championships, which are held this week in Tyumen, Russia. That in itself would be a great result for the team, but not extremely unusual. It even happened this season at the IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria. What made Thursday’s race more special: gold medalist Nadine Horchler and silver medalist Karolin Horchler are sisters. And for the older Nadine, it was her biggest success at age 29, being rewarded for years of racing on the IBU Cup level after her biathlon career had stagnated. At first, the 26-year-old Karolin had set the best time in the finish thanks to two clean shootings and a good course time that ultimately would be the sixth-best overall. Then her older sister bested that time by 12.7 seconds, despite a penalty lap…

European Championships in Russia: Home Team Tops Both Mixed Relays in Tyumen

By Harald Zimmer In each of the next two seasons, Tyumen in Western Siberia, Russia, is scheduled to host an International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup. This week, the new biathlon complex that has been mostly used for local events and invitational races so far is hosting the 2016 Open European Championships as a dress rehearsal. Just ahead of the upcoming IBU World Championships in Oslo, Norway, from March 3-13, most of the best World Cup athletes did not make the long trip to Russia, allowing other athletes to shine there for a highlight of their season. The “Pearl of Siberia” (Zhemchuzhina Sibiri) biathlon arena in the fairly remote location in the middle of large forests is impressive, with broad tracks, stands for thousands of spectators, many floodlights (so races can be held in the evening to also fit the broadcast schedules of TV networks in central Europe), and a large utility building with…