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North American Biathlon Rollerski Championships in Photos

2014 North American Rollerski Championships 7.5 k sprint at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt.

Lowell Bailey went 2 for 2 on the weekend in Jericho, and two different U.S. women edged Canada’s Rosanna Crawford for victories at the North American Rollerski Championships at the Ethan Allen Firing Range.

As IBU Congress Nears, Many Rule Changes Up for Debate

IBU race officials were forced to call off a World Cup relay mid-race last season when fog rolled in and obscured the targets. Now, they are considering rule changes to better deal with these situations in the future.

Up for voting at the IBU Congress in September will be proposals for how to deal with mid-race cancellations, whether to amend the penalty in youth individual races, and whether age limits are appropriate at Open European Championships – as well as the creation of an entirely new junior racing circuit.

Post-Biathlon, Studebaker Returns to the College Scene as Assistant Coach at University of Alaska Anchorage

Studebaker competing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

When Nicole De Yong stepped down from the UAA coaching staff, head coach Andrew Kastning wanted to hire another woman – but female coaches aren’t easy to come by. Luckily, 2010 and 2014 Olympian Sara Studebaker had just moved to town. “I’m really excited to be here,” she told FasterSkier.

Defending IBU World Cup Champ Mäkäräinen Hopes for Health and Happiness in 2015

Finnish biathlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen shooting at her home course in Kontiolahti, Finland, where she hosted the U.S. women's team in late July. (Photo: Jonne Kähkönen)

With another World Cup crystal globe in hand, Finnish biathlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen, 31, is gearing up for another season and World Championships at home in Kontiolahti. It hasn’t been easy: she was sick for two months from May through June.

Tikhonov Brings Color to Politically Tense Race for IBU Presidency

Alexander Tikhonov in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, in 2007. Photo: vow via creative commons.

Convicted in arranging the attempted murder of a regional governor in 2000, Alexander Tikhonov is never dull. One of the best biathletes of all time, he hopes to return to the international spotlight by becoming IBU President. Canada’s Jim Carrabre is also taking on Anders Besseberg, who has held the position since 1993.

Sachenbacher-Stehle Requests 3-Month Ban: ‘I Do Not Want to Cede as a Doping Sinner’

Germany's Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (27) in the quaterfinals of the 2007 Tour de Ski in Prague. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite being handed a two-year ban at age 33, Germany’s Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle isn’t throwing in the towel. Rather, she’s seeking a three-month ban instead so she can repair her image and retire on a high note.

U.S. Biathlon Women’s Coach Kähkönen on Team’s Scando Tour

The U.S Biathlon women's team after an uphill interval session up Koli, the highest point in southern Finland, with coach Jonne Kähkönen (l) and his wife (r), who also rollerskied up, and  Finnish World Cup champion Kaisa Mäkäräinen (second from l). (Photo: Jonne Kähkönen)

Following the final week of training in Finland and three days of rollerski races at the coveted Blink Festival in Norway, U.S. Biathlon coach Jonne Kähkönen gives an across-the-pond update from his native Finland.

‘You Can’t Get More Biathlon Than Montana,’ Bridger Biathlon Club Brings It Back

The biathlon range at Bohart Ranch in Bozeman, Mont. was installed in 1989 at the hight of the sport in the small mountain town. The Bridger Biathlon Club is attempting to bring Biathlon back to Bozeman and is starting by installing new targets from Norway. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

Biathlon in Bozeman was booming in the 1980s but in the last two decades, the sport has declined in the mountain town as cross country skiing popularity has grown. However, a group of community members is trying to bring biathlon back to Bozeman with the formation of the Bridger Biathlon Club, and they are off to a good start.

Mäkäräinen Shows U.S. Biathlon Women the Ropes (and Swimming Holes) in Kontiolahti

The U.S. Biathlon women's team, including Hannah Dreissigacker (l), Susan Dunklee (second from r) and Annelies Cook (r), with Russia's Ekaterina Yurlova (second from l) and Finland's Kaisa Mäkäräinen (c) at the 2015 World Championships range in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Jonne Kähkönen)

The U.S. Biathlon Women’s A-team has been spending the last two weeks soaking up Finnish life and studying the 2015 IBU World Championships course in Kontiolahti with reigning World Cup champion (and local hero) Kaisa Mäkäräinen.

Fourcade Focuses on Double World Championships, With Past Duds in Mind

Fourcade-Uphill-thumb

With two biathlon gold medals under his belt from Sochi, France’s Martin Fourcade is setting his sights on competing in both skiing and biathlon World Championships in 2015. It’s not an easy team to join: the French men took bronze in the 4 x 10 k relay in Sochi. So Fourcade is joining them for training camps.

Sachenbacher-Stehle Case Raises Questions about Supplement Use and Safety

Sachenbacher-Stehle at the finish Monday.

Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle had three of her nine supplements – recommended by an experienced nutritionist – tested for banned substances. She read the ingredient labels carefully and googled their names with the phrase “doping”. But the IBU rejected the idea of accidental ingestion and slapped her with the same 2-year ban that a Russian using EPO received on the same day. Is that fair?

Starykh Banned for Two Years; Claims EPO Was in Cosmetic Injections of Human Placenta

Irina Starykh (far right) celebrates with the Russian team after their IBU World Cup biathlon relay victory in Ruhpolding, Germany, in January. The result is among those which will be voided with Starykh's doping ban, from a sample collected in December. Photo: Fischer / Nordic Focus.

The International Biathlon Union has finally announced the verdict for Irina Starykh of Russia: a two-year ban beginning on December 23, 2013, the date samples were collected which eventually tested positive for recombinant erythropoetin. Starykh claims that the substance must have been in a drug she injected to improve her skin, but this seems unlikely.

As Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits Gun-Shop Shelves, Biathletes Seek Bullets

US Biathlon National Team member Susan Dunklee will provide instruction.

For the last five years, there has been an ammunition shortage in the U.S. The shortage is most acute in inexpensive rimfire-type ammunition, particularly .22-caliber, which is preferred by competitive and recreational shooters (i.e. biathletes). Coaches from several U.S. biathlon clubs weigh in on whether they’ve experienced issues with obtaining team ammo.

Wednesday Workout: Make Every Shot with Norwegian Coach Joar Himle

Joar Himle, a personal shooting coach from Norway, assists Canada's Scott Gow during a recent shooting camp in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Matthias Ahrens)

Last month, Norwegian shooting coach Joar Himle, who previously coached biathlon greats like Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Halvard Hanevold, visited the Canadians for a weeklong camp in Canmore. While he mostly worked with individual athletes, he also had them do a few interesting drills, including a sort of ‘shoot ’til you miss’ exercise, which takes about an hour on the range.

Olympic Biathlete Brian Olsen: Elite & Olympic Teams Should Say ‘You Can Play,’ Promote Inclusivity for LGBT Athletes

Brian Olsen, at age 22, competing in a test race at the 2006 Olympics in Torino. Now retired as from racing, he is an athlete representative both to USBA's board and to the USOC's Athletes' Advisory Council.

At age 21, Brian Olsen worried that coming out as gay would negatively affect his performance as a biathlete. Years later, he’s using his position as an athlete rep to advocate for governing bodies in Olympic sports to think more carefully about the environment they’re creating for gay and lesbian athletes. That might start here in the nordic community.

With USOC Support and Own Foundation, U.S. Biathlon Confident About Post-Olympic Financials

After World Cup podium performances from Lowell Bailey (above), Tim Burke, and Susan Dunklee, the US Olympic Committee rewarded biathlon with relatively strong support in the post-Olympic year. (Photo: USBA/Nordic Focus)

This spring, nordic organizations across the U.S. and Canada were hit hard by cuts from their Olympic funding partners. U.S. Biathlon Association President Max Cobb says his group wasn’t one of them: USBA didn’t get its full request, but it got enough. “It’s a relief,” he said. USBA also has the added benefit of a foundation to help with additional fundraising.

‘I Want to Be a U.S. Biathlete Because…’ (Video)

USBA Talent ID and Recruiting Camp

Meet the 11 candidates up for nomination to U.S. Biathlon’s X or development-group teams, from high-school upperclassmen to post grads.

IBU President Besseberg Explains Olympic Blood Screening Decision, But Reveals Lack of Communication with Medical Director

IBU logo

IBU President Anders Besseberg explained to FasterSkier that he is “harmonizing” the blood screening procedures at Olympic Games between biathlon, skiing, and speedskating, and then the IOC will take over all administration of the tests. But his claims that VP for Medical Issues Jim Carrabre never contacted him about the issue is false, as e-mails shared by Carrabre show that he did try to ask the president why the decision was taken.

Biathlon to Discontinue Blood Testing at Olympics; Internal Discord, Anger from Antidoping Advocates

Targeted testing based on data from the IBU's Athlete Biological Testing program led to the suspension of Irina Starykh, above, and another Russian biathlete for blood-doping. The IBU will now no longer do the biological passport tests at all future Olympic Games.

The International Biathlon Union’s Executive board voted last month to discontinue its blood testing at the Olympic Games, meaning that the Athlete Biological Passport program will no longer be implemented there. The decision was taken without consulting the organization’s Medical Committee, and the IBU has not offered an explanation to its members.

Carrabre Launches Bid for IBU Presidency

Dr. Jim Carrabre. IBU file photo.

Former Canadian biathlete Jim Carrabre, now a doctor practicing in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area, is launching a bid for the presidency of the International Biathlon Union. He will run against Anders Besseberg, who has held the position since 1993. A longtime antidoping advocate, Carrabre is also running on a platform of good governance and global development of the sport.