IOC suspends payments to IBU in Russian doping cover-up scandal
The International Olympic Committee’s executive board has suspended all direct financial payments to the International Biathlon Union in a continuing scandal over allegations that Russian doping cases were covered up by the IBU’s former leadership in return for bribes.
The IOC said that the suspension will remain in force until:
“i. The election of the new IBU President at the IBU Congress scheduled to be held from 5 to 10 September 2018, in order to provide a stable governance and leadership structure to the Federation; and
“ii. The IOC Executive Board has reviewed and confirmed it is satisfied with the outcomes of the following reports:
“a. An amended IBU Code of Ethics and confirmation of the revised structure of the IBU Ethics Commission;
“b. The iNADO [Institute of national Doping Organisations] audit of the IBU anti-doping programme and confirmation of related IBU decisions and actions, including a commitment to join the Independent Testing Agency (ITA); and
“c. A detailed summary of the action taken by the IBU Independent Working Group, headed by Stephan Netzle, regarding the Moscow LIMS and related data disclosed by WADA.”
The IOC has set a deadline of 10 September for submission of the reports, while it has requested that a summary of the reports is provided to its executive board for consideration at its meeting on 3 and 4 October.
Some of the actions demanded by the IOC are already under way, with Olle Dahlin, from Sweden, and Latvia's Baiba Broka having been nominated to battle it out for the presidency of the troubled governing body.
Dahlin is a vice-president and executive board member of the IBU, while Broka is the former justice minister of Latvia. Both candidates are presidents of their respective national biathlon federations.
The two are standing to replace Anders Besseberg, who stepped down in April amid a prosecutors' probe in Austria and Norway into allegations of doping, fraud and corruption involving Russian athletes and officials in the sport.
The Norwegian had been the IBU’s sole president since its formation in 1993. Nicole Resch, the IBU’s secretary general, was also provisionally suspended by the IBU’s executive board.
The elections will take place during the IBU congress in Porec, Croatia between 5 and 9 September.
The IBU has also announced plans to establish an ethics commission to monitor good governance in the federation. Its legal committee is drawing up an amended code of ethics, including a proposal on the structure of the ethics commission, that will be voted upon at the congress in Porec.