The Russian Biathlon Union has reacted after recommending that athletes remain banned
The Russian Biathlon Union has hit back after officials from the international governing body, the IBU, recommended extending the current ban on Russian athletes from participating in world competitions. Russian biathlon bosses have accused the IBU of “hypocrisy” and “politicize” sport.
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced on Tuesday that its executive board would recommend to the IBU congress in September that the suspension of Russian and Belarusian competitors – originally imposed in early March – continue until further notice.
The IBU board also said the membership suspension imposed on the Russian and Belarusian biathlon unions should be upheld, setting out terms for their reinstatement, which included demands that the organizations “to distance oneself clearly” of the conflict in Ukraine and “ensure that none of their officials or athletes are actively involved in the Russian military and/or assist in the war effort.”
Responding with its own statement, the Russian Biathlon Union attacked the IBU for its stance – not least because legal wrangling is still ongoing over the world body’s first ban.
“The Russian Biathlon Union stands for civilized and law-driven dispute resolution”, a press release read.
“Previously, the RBU, with the help of the Russian Olympic Committee, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS) against the decisions of the IBU on the suspension of Russian athletes and officials (dated of March 1, 2022) and on the suspension of the Russian Biathlon Union as a whole (dated March 28, 2022) as discriminatory on a national basis and contrary to the IBU Constitution.
“Both matters are currently subject to established arbitration proceedings at CAS and have not yet been adjudicated or legally assessed.
“We believe that today’s recommendations from the IBU Board regarding athletes from Russia and Belarus are equally hypocritical and politicized, also contradict the IBU Constitution and are equally harmful to biathlon. world than the decisions of March”, he added.
“For its part, by September 8, 2022, as requested of us, the Russian Biathlon Union will prepare a legally justified appeal to all Congress participants and members of the IBU, in which our position will be detailed.”
The IBU’s actions against Russia and Belarus follow a similar stance by many other sports federations after the IOC’s initial recommendation on February 28 that athletes from both countries should be banned from competitions.
However, by suspending the membership of Russia and Belarus as well as the sidelining of athletes, the IBU has gone further than many other organisations.
Russian officials and sports figures have consistently denounced the bans imposed on the country as discriminatory and allowing politics to undermine the sport, pointing out that other nations involved in conflicts over the years – notably the United States and its allies – were not sanctioned. .