The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has been for years a nest of “systemic corruption”, without economic control or transparency in its accounts, defender of Russian interests above the rules, with vote manipulation and irregularities in its anti-doping policy, according to an independent report commissioned by the president of the organization, the Swede Olle Dahlin.
His 25-year predecessor, Norway’s Anders Besseberg, resigned in April 2018 following an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). who accused him, along with former Secretary General Nicole Resch, of having accepted money to protect doped Russian biathletes.
Dahlin commissioned a report on the Besseberg stage from British lawyer Jonathan Taylor, collaborator of the Court of Arbitration of Lausanne (Switzerland) and of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose results have been made public today.
The document defines the IBU’s commitment to clean sport as “a sham” and speaks of “a total lack of basic guarantees of governance., which left the decisions on integrity in the exclusive hands of the president and his allies in the IBU executive committee, without checks or balances, without transparency and without any kind of responsibility. ”
Besseber is also accused of “Always protect Russian interests beyond reason.”
He kept Alexander Tikhonov as first vice president of the IBU after the president of the Russian federation was sentenced to three years in prison -then he was amnestied- for conspiracy to commit murder.
Likewise, did everything possible to downplay the doping scandal discovered in Russia in the wake of the Sochi 2014 Games.
The report talks about “numerous favors from Russians to Mr. Besseberg, especially in the form of free hunting trips and prostitute services.”
For the author of the report, this is “an example of the importance of good governance in sport”
“The complete lack of basic governance guarantees that previously existed at IBU meant that the old management could operate without control or accountability, without transparency and without accountability. The report shows why all integrity decisions must be made by an independent body dedicated exclusively to protecting the ethical values of sport, and not by an executive board dealing with a host of conflicting interests. ” said Taylor.
President Dahlin has indicated for his part that he is “shocked by the irregularities described in the report.”
“But we are grateful to the commission for bringing this evidence to light and ensuring accountability for misconduct in our sport.”, has pointed.
“Thanks to the creation of the Integrity Unit and the numerous governance reforms that we have introduced in the last two years, we have the necessary guarantees to ensure that these types of irregularities do not recur. But we will not settle and we will continue working to stay at the forefront of the best international practices, upholding the highest standards of good governance, “he promised.
The AMA has reacted immediately with a statement in which he recalls that she began the investigations in 2016 and assures that “The accusations that appear in this report are abominable to all who care about the integrity of sport.”
“However, it is a merit of the IBU that, after this scandal, it has taken significant measures to improve the integrity of its anti-doping program, “he adds.
Since the irregularities described in the report may have legal consequences and “the operation is in progress”, WADA “cannot comment on the details of the investigation at this time.”
The biathlon federation, a sport included in the program of the Winter Olympic Games since 1960, thus joins the boxing federation (AIBA) and weightlifting (IWF) on the list of those that have been tainted by corruption in recent years.
On the last two, the president of the IOC, the German Thomas Bach declared himself “very concerned” and “disappointed” at his lack of progress on the promised reforms.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.