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Tyumen World Cup Stage Moved to Kontiolahti, Finland

Ondrej Moravec celebrates a sizable win for the Czech Republic in Thursday’s mixed relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

Ondrej Moravec celebrates a sizable win for the Czech Republic in the mixed relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

In December the Russian Biathlon Union “gave back” their planned World Cup stage in Tyumen, before the International Biathlon Union could strip it from the country following an investigation of widespread doping in Russia.

The competitions, scheduled for March 9-12, have now been allocated to Kontiolahti, Finland, a usual World Cup stop which lost its hosting rights this year in order to make room for the pre-Olympic test races in PyeongChang, South Korea. Kontiolahti also hosted 2015 IBU World Championships.

Per an IBU press release:

“Following the recent decision by the IBU Executive Board to move BMW IBU World Cup 8; they IBU have now selected a new venue to host the event. BMW IBU World Cup 8 will be held in Kontiolahti, Finland March 6 – 12, 2017.”

IBU Youth/Junior Worlds Moved to Osrblie, Slovakia

After the Russian Biathlon Union voluntarily forfeited hosting rights to two International Biathlon Union (IBU) events last month, the IBU recently announced that Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, has been selected as the new host for its 2017 Youth/Junior World Championships. Osrblie, which has hosted the IBU Cup as recently as last season, will host the championships from Feb. 22-28, 2017, replacing Ostrov, Russia. According to Biathlon Canada’s Sarah Beaudry, who experienced in Brezno-Osrblie for IBU Cup racing, she wasn’t sure which other venues bid for the relocated Youth/Junior Worlds, but logistically, she felt it made sense. (Note: Beaudry, 22, has aged out of Junior Worlds.) “…With a lot of Junior teams including both Canada and the USA already being in Nova Mesto for Junior Euro Champs it makes sense to keep it in Central Europe,” she wrote in an email. “The course definitely has some challenging climbs and fun downhills and the venue is on par with a lot of the other locations that I went…

Currier 44th in Beitostolen Sprint, Re-Qualifies for World Cup

When Russell Currier (Outdoor Sports Institute) was selected to the U.S. World Cup team after a one-year absence, there was just one piece of outstanding business: he was no longer qualified for the World Cup. So that entailed an early-season trip to the second-tier IBU Cup to re-make qualification criteria. Currier raced in the 10 k sprint in Beitostolen, Norway, on Friday to do just that. He was the only American athlete there, and traveled with one coach, U.S. men’s team coach Jonas Johansson. The one-day reintroduction to international racing was far from dull for the skeleton crew. Currier faced few problems on his skis, cruising to the tenth-fastest course time. “Ski speed was better than expected,” he wrote in an email. “Two days of travel and jet lag, a one-man wax team and not the best feeling in the legs had my expectations on the lower end.” But Currier…

Dunklee, Bailey and Burke Shine at USBA Rollerski Nationals in Jericho

Susan Dunklee, Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke took wins at the US Biathlon National Rollerski Championships in Jericho, Vt., this past weekend. All members of the US Biathlon Association (USBA) A-team, the trio of Olympians outcompeted the field in sprints on Saturday, Aug. 13, and then mass starts on Sunday, Aug. 14. Dunklee took a 13.3-second win over Joanne Reid of Colorado Biathlon and USBA’s X-team in the 7.5-kilometer sprint, despite four penalties to Reid’s one. A-teamer Clare Egan picked up third with three penalties, a minute and one second behind Dunklee. In Sunday’s mass start, Dunklee again picked up penalties – this time five – but cruised to a 26.7-second victory over Egan, who had three missed shots. Reid made her second podium by placing third, +1:19, with four penalties. In the 10 k sprint, Bailey dueled all the way to the end with teammate Burke, who started two…

Olympian Lowell Bailey Joins Bridger Biathlon Club Board

(Press release) BOZEMAN, Mont. (June 29, 2016) – The Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC) announced today the appointment of three-time Olympian, Lowell Bailey, to its Board of Directors. BBC, a local nonprofit community organization operating at the Bohart Ranch Cross-Country Ski Center in Bridger Canyon, was established in 2014 with a focus on promoting athletic achievement and healthy living through the sport of biathlon. Bailey, a current member of the United States Biathlon Team, brings unprecedented resources and knowledge that will elevate the Board in their understanding of biathlon, the development of robust youth programs, current best practices for trail design, and opportunities to bridge local skiing to the national and international level. Having competed on the World Cup Circuit for over a decade and internationally since 1999, Bailey has competed in the last three Olympic Games and skied and shot his way to six top-ten finishes at World Championships, securing a…

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….

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…