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IBU Congress Rejects 8-Year Ban Proposal, Will Select New 2021 World Champs Host

On Wednesday, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) held what was dubbed an “Extraordinary Congress” in Fieberbrunn, Austria, where congress delegates from 46 IBU member federations voted on the three proposals from the athlete’s letter of January 13, 2017. Those proposals were:

  1. Longer bans (up to 8 years) for athletes convicted of anti-doping rule violations;
  2. Higher fines (up to 1,000,000 €) for member federations with athletes convicted of anti-doping offenses;
  3. Reduction of seasonal start quotas at World Cup, World Championship, and Olympic Winter Games competitions for member federations with one or more athlete anti-doping offenses

According to a press release, “The Congress supported the athlete’s initiative for have stronger Anti-Doping Rules and harsher disciplinary sanctions on member federations, duly taking note of the WADA letter of 27th January, 2017.

Prior to voting on the eight-year ban proposal, delegates received a WADA-issued letter from January 27, 2017, stating that ‘in order to comply with the mandatory requirements of the Code, IBU cannot amend its Anti-Doping Rules in a manner that would permit imposing sanctions that are stricter than those foreseen by the Code’.

Based on this recommendation, the Congress rejected the proposal on an eight-year ban to avoid non-compliance with the WADA Code.

Regarding the proposals on stricter anti-doping rules towards member federations, the Congress tasked the EB to set up a working group to draft amendments to the Disciplinary Rules with significantly higher fines for national federations and a reduction of seasonal start quotas for breaching the Anti-Doping Rules. It will implement these before the season 2017/2018. The next Congress will confirm these rules.

Regarding IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021, the Congress voted against adding the vote to its agenda regarding the withdrawal of the event from Tyumen/RUS. Therefore, the Executive Board took the responsibility to invite the Russian Biathlon Union to return the IBU WCH 2021 until 24th February 24, 2017. Otherwise, the EB has decided to annul the award of the IBU WCH 2021 to Tyumen/RUS.

The host for the IBU WCH 2021 will be selected at the 2018 IBU Congress.”

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