Biathlon Canada Statement

Biathlon Canada will not attend IBU Cup and World Cup events in Russia later this season

December 15th, 2017

Recently, Biathlon Canada sent a letter to the International Biathlon Union (IBU) stating Canadian National Teams will not compete in IBU Cup and World Cup events occurring in Russia in March of 2018. The letter was sent in advance of a December 9th IBU Executive Board meeting – an effort to persuade the Executive Board to move events scheduled to occur at Russian venues, as well as to take firm, substantial action against the Russian Federation in the wake of the IOC decision earlier this month to ban Russia from the PyeongChang Olympics.

The outcome of the IBU Executive Board meeting was to demote the Russian Biathlon Federation to “provisional” status within the IBU, yet still allow events scheduled in Russia in March 2018 to proceed. Regarding Russian biathletes requesting to compete in the PyeongChang Olympics, the IBU will defer to adjudication conducted by the IOC.

Biathlon Canada is of the position the Russian Federation should not be permitted to host events at present, based on the following key points:

  • the occurrence of high-level IBU events in Russia is inconsistent with the IOC decision of 05 December to disallow participation by the Russian Team in the PyeongChang Olympics;
  • as confirmed by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), there has yet to be acknowledgement of wrongdoing by Russia regarding evidence contained in the McLaren Report;
  • The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) remains non-compliant with requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“We applaud Biathlon Canada for taking a principled stand around these upcoming events in Russia” said CCES CEO Paul Melia. “It’s important that the broader sport community continue to shine a light on the fact that Russia continues to be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code by WADA as they have not met all of the obligations outlined in the WADA roadmap, including publicly acknowledging their wrongdoing as reported in the McLaren Report.”

After the Executive Board meeting of December 9th, the IBU stated there are a “substantial number of athletes still suspicious of having been part of, or profited from the Russian doping conspiracy, which caused great damage to the sport of biathlon and the reputation of the IBU.”

Given this “great damage”, Biathlon Canada calls for more substantial and demonstrable action to be taken by the IBU.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Andy Holmwood

General Manager, Biathlon Canada

T: 403.609.4746

E-Mail: aholmwood@biathloncanada.ca