The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has appointed Niklas Carlsson, former chief executive of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Åre 2019, to be its new permanent secretary general.
Carlsson will join the IBU on 1 September following a turbulent period for the organisation in which former secretary general Nicole Resch and former president Anders Bessberg were implicated in a criminal investigation into doping, fraud and bribery.
Austrian Martin Kuchenmeister replaced Resch as secretary general on an interim basis, but he was then forced to stand down over a personal relationship with assistant Marie-Luise Kreilinger, who also resigned. Norwegian Alf Koksvik took over as interim secretary general from Kuchenmeister in March. Carlsson will succeed Koksvik in September becoming the first permanent secretary general since Resch resigned.
Carlsson brings substantial experience of management and event delivery in winter sports. Before heading the Åre 2019 organising committee, the 44-year-old served as the secretary general of the Swedish Ski Federation from 2011-2014. Prior to that he worked as event and sponsorship manager at the International Ski Federation (FIS). He also sat on the board of Falun 2015, the company for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships; and the board of World Championships Region, a co-owned company by Åre 2019 and Östersund 2019 responsible for promoting the World Championships in the region.
Carlsson’s appointment means the IBU will have an all-Swedish leadership team as president Olle Dahlin also hails from the country.
In October, the organisation will hold an extraordinary congress in Munich to approve a new constitution and strategic plan.
In a statement Dahlin said: “The executive board made it a prerequisite in the recruitment process that only candidates with extensive and diverse multi-stakeholder experience would be considered, and there is no doubt Niklas meets that criteria. He comes from winter sports, he has run a major organising committee and national federation, he has expert insights and knowledge of the daily business of an international federation and how it is run; and as a board member, is familiar with high-level corporate management and oversight. With his strong leadership experience and winter sports background, I have no doubt Niklas will do an excellent job in heading our operations and developing the sport of biathlon as part of our strategic plan.”
Carlsson said: “I hope that my experience in heading sports organisations, delivering strategies, negotiating TV and marketing contracts, organising major events, and being a coach and athlete will successfully contribute to the short and long-term future of our sport. Enhancing the strong foundation biathlon already has, the experienced team in Salzburg and I will deliver the execution of the new strategic plan and the implementation of institutional reforms.”