HOCHFILZEN, Austria: After losing the right to host a World Cup event and junior World Championships, Russia suffered further embarrassment on Wednesday when it was stripped of the 2021 Biathlon World Championships.
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) made the decision after long consideration of the McLaren report on Russian doping, which revealed detailed accounts of 31 cases involving Russian biathletes.
“The executive committee invites Russia to cede its right to host the 2021 world championships,” an IBU statement said, adding it would strip the town of Tyumen of hosting rights itself if Russia failed to take the initiative.
The Siberian outpost won the right to host the event in September last year ahead of Slovenia’s Pokljuka and Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic.
The IBU will reattribute the hosting rights at its 2018 congress.
The Russian Biathlon Union pulled out of hosting the 2017 junior world championships and a World Cup event of its own accord, explaining it wished to end suspicions and rumours.
The IBU dropped charges against 22 of the Russian biathletes for lack of evidence.
The world’s top biathlete Martin Fourcade, and women’s World Cup leader Laura Dahlmeier have led calls for the IBU to do more after only two of the 31 named athletes in the McLaren report were suspended.
Biathlon is a classic Olympic sport that combines the endurance demands of nordic skiing and the heart rate control required for shooting. AFP