IBU reassigns Russian World Cup event to Finland

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has reassigned its 2016-17 World Cup round that was due to be staged in Russia to Kontiolahti, Finland.

Kontiolahti, which hosted the 2015 World Championships, will stage the World Cup 8 event from March 6-12. The IBU made the announcement on Saturday after it last week said Osrblie in Slovakia would stage the 2017 Youth and Junior World Championships after the Russian city of Ostrov last month withdrew its hosting rights for the event.

Ostrov had been due to stage the competition from February 22 to March 2 but the Russian Biathlon Union last month informed the IBU that the event, along with the World Cup 8 event scheduled for Tyumen, would be given back to the sport’s global governing body.

The decision to reallocate the two events was made in the wake of the publication of the second part of the McLaren Report into doping amongst Russian athletes. IBU president Anders Besseberg said at the time that the decision to reallocate the events represented the “first important step by the Russian Biathlon Union to show to the IBU and to the world of sport that the current situation is taken very seriously.”

Tyumen is also scheduled to stage the IBU World Championship in 2021. A decision on whether or not the event will remain in the city has yet to be made. The hosting rights were assigned in September despite the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having recommended that winter sports bodies should not allocate events to Russia.