Corruption probe launched into Russian biathlon doping

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Biathlon Union has launched an investigation into allegations Russia bribed its way out of doping cases, months after police raids led the IBU president to step down.

The IBU says its investigation will cooperate with Austrian and Norwegian authorities on the bribery allegations, but will go further by probing whether the vote to give Russia the 2021 world championships was “tainted by corruption.”

That 2016 vote was later overturned following protests by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the event relocated to Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Austrian police raided IBU headquarters in April, with prosecutors alleging $300,000 in bribes were paid to cover up Russian doping. The IBU’s longtime president and secretary general, Anders Besseberg and Nicole Resch, both left their posts soon after.

The IBU says its investigation will be headed by British lawyer Jonathan Taylor, who also chaired a WADA committee which recommended the Russian anti-doping agency was reinstated in September.

The IBU also confirmed that Russia won’t host any more World Cup events until at least the 2022-23 season after publishing new competition calendars through 2021-22 without Russia.

That’s because the Russian Biathlon Union was reduced to provisional IBU membership last year as punishment for a large number of doping cases. That status means it can’t host international competition.