The Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) has been fined €50,000. The decision has been respected by the CEO of the RBU and First Vice-President of the International Biathlon Union (IBU), Mr Sergey Kushchenko, who also finds it correct that the IBU is taking tough measures in the fight against doping.
The Executive Board of the IBU had to decide at its 99th meeting in Going (Austria) the disciplinary consequences for the RBU; the IBU Anti-Doping Rules stipulate that the IBU may impose fines on a national federation (NF) if more than one athlete from a NF violates the IBU Anti-Doping Rules within a twelve month period.
The IBU Executive Board evaluated a very detailed report from October 2010 from an internal commission tasked by the RBU to closely investigate possible reasons for the multiple violations over such a short period.
The Executive Board considered the full circumstances at great length before reaching the difficult decision to impose a fine on the RBU. Five athletes (Iourieva, Akhatova, Yaroshenko, Prokunin and Timofeyeva) were suspended within a twelve-month period, following which the RBU has imposed all necessary disciplinary consequences internally and has taken very serious action to prevent doping in the future.
The IBU Executive Board wishes to emphasize that it highly commends and respects the initiatives taken by the new leadership in the Russian Biathlon Union in the fight against doping.
Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for FasterSkier, who also covers city government for the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. You can follow him on twitter @nat_herz.