Still mums can be removed from MS. But it will not be until 9 February


After Saturday’s extraordinary IBU meeting in Anterselles, Anders Besseberg, President of the Union, announced at a late evening press conference that the leadership of the IBU had formally initiated proceedings with the Russian Federation for suspicion of doping.

The Russian Federation is due to comment on the role played by the alleged state-controlled doping system by February 5.

Russia has so far escaped a severe punishment, which might have been complete elimination of the World Cup representation and other international competitions.

The IBU leadership will again meet on February 9 at the Hochfilzen World Championship.There should definitely be a decision on the World Championships in Tumeni 2021.

“The Tumen Championship is an open event,” said Ivor Lehotian, Slovak vice president of IBU. “Sometimes it is necessary to be patient, so that we can distract all matters, and then bring up the responsible verdict. On February 9th, this issue will be clearly named and defined by the IBU Executive. In some circumstances, the executive may also withdraw the Titan Championship. ”

Jiří Hamza, chairman of the Czech Union, responded to the meeting information:” It seems like a game of time.I do not know what Russia is going to say, the case is clear. “IBU Besseberg also announced that out of 29 of the previously mentioned cases of sample manipulation by Russian biathleters to be reported by McLaren’s second report 2011 – 2015, the IBU Labor Commission is currently investigating seven cases.

“In the next 22 cases, we currently have no evidence to keep them under investigation,” said Lehotyan. Already in December, two Russian biathleters were provisionally suspended due to allegations of manipulation of specimens at Sochi 2014. It was later revealed that Olga Viluchinova and Jan Romanov were the names of the Russian biathletes. acts in the seven other cases mentioned, Besseberg refused. “So far, we’re only working with record numbers.Specific names are known to our workgroup. ”

When asked if these athletes were active biathletes, he replied:” I will not comment on this situation yet. We still have no such direct evidence that we may temporarily suspend someone else. ”

The Biathlonists have also been calling for an intense fight against organized doping in Russia before.Martine Fourcada, Michael Slesinger and Lowell Bailey, demanding tougher doping penalties and a stronger IBU approach to fighting doping, signed 157 biathletes and 56 coaches from 26 countries. Besseberg, however, pointed out that changes in anti-doping and disciplinary rules can be voted only by the IBU Congress, not the Executive.

The Congress was originally scheduled to take place in Porec in the summer of 2018, but now it seems realistic to convene an extraordinary congress for the summer of 2017.This will be the case if either the majority of the IBU executive or at least 10 percent of the member federations are spoken for.

“If Mr. Besseberg will address the issue all the way to Congress, we will require the convening of an extraordinary IBU Congress,” Hamza assured. Besseberg claims he is trying to protect athletes who are innocent.

“We have a big problem on the table, it’s no secret,” said the Norwegian president of IBU. “The biggest problem is, of course, for Russian sport and for anti-doping authorities in Russia. The work of our expert group working on this case has the highest priority.But we have to protect those athletes against whom we have no evidence that they are guilty of anti-doping rules. “Just before the press conference, an interview with Besseberg and the IBU executives was held in Antersel with representatives of sportsmen who sent the IBU a petition .

“We appreciate this athlete’s initiative. An absolute priority for us is doping-free sports, “said Besseberg. But he also explained to them that the drafts for the tougher anti-doping rules he had submitted to him, the IBU can not yet accept. “It’s also some legal procedures, it’s a very sensitive topic.”

The creator of the petition and many other biathleters present did not satisfy their arguments.

Martin Fourcade responded by the fact that he was the first to pick up and leave during the hall of functionaries argument.He walked amongst the television crews waiting in the corridor to show he was distracted, and without commenting on the event, he left the camp.

Michael Schlesinger and Lowell Bailey followed for Fourcadem.

“I think Martin did the best he got up and went,” said Ondřej Rybář, Czech director of photography. “Because sitting there and wasting time when people from the IBU are just pulling things up and talking about nothing, it is really useless. He expressed what many people think. They did not do anything, they did not make a decision, they were still just saying that and it could only be decided by Congress. “Vice President IBU Lehotyan says he understands their frustration.

“The suggestions of the athletes who sent us are good suggestions.However, it is necessary to go through some procedural process to bring these proposals to the congress, whether ordinary or extraordinary. We will reopen this topic on February 9th. But on the other hand, we have tied hands. “PS: On Sunday morning, probably due to the real threat of protest action at Sunday’s races, the IBU leadership has come up with an accelerated new decision. The press report announced that an extraordinary IBU Congress would be convened before the world championship in Hochfilzen. And this may result in a change in anti-doping rules.

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