Russian biathlon given road map after doping scandals

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian biathletes will have to undergo extra drug testing if their federation is to have a doping suspension lifted, the International Biathlon Union said Thursday.

The Russian Biathlon Union — one of the sport’s traditional powerhouses — was relegated to provisional IBU membership in 2017. The IBU said it was told by the World Anti-Doping Agency of corruption claims including that IBU officials covered up Russian doping cases — a matter being investigated as possible bribery by Austrian authorities — and that delegates were bribed to vote for Russia to host the world championship.

The IBU has presented a new road map, including extra out-of-competition testing for athletes and cooperation by Russian authorities in a WADA investigation into cover-ups at the Moscow drug-testing laboratory. Russia must also reimburse the costs of the IBU’s investigations and monitoring.

“It’s very hard to speculate on the timeframe (for Russia to be fully reinstated),” IBU president Olle Dahlin said. “If they don’t (comply with the conditions), it’s a long time to be a full member.”

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Russian athletes are allowed to compete while their federation is sanctioned but it’s much harder for the country to host international competitions. The IBU stripped Russia of the 2021 world championships last year and hasn’t awarded the country any rounds of the World Cup through 2022 on calendars published last week.

The IBU said in August it was investigating four Russian biathletes suspected of past doping offenses. They reportedly include former national team athletes.

Three other Russian women were stripped of medals they won at the 2014 Olympics for doping. They have filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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