The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has announced that a review conducted by professional services firm KPMG of its accounts for the past financial year reported “no irregularities” as it continues recovery efforts amid its administration crisis.
The news was one of a number of announcements made during an IBU executive board meeting at its headquarters in Salzburg, Austria. Improving good governance was to the fore of the agenda and KPMG presented its review of the accounts for the year ending April 30, 2018. The IBU said the review reported no irregularities in the federation’s books and a positive result.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month moved to suspend all direct financial payments to the IBU until a series of demands are met concerning reform of the body. The IOC’s Executive Board acted after the IBU earlier detailed that a contest will be held to determine its next leader.
Elections will be conducted at the IBU Congress in Porec, Croatia on September 5-9. The IBU has named two candidates to become its next president, including Baiba Broka, head of the Latvian Biathlon Federation, and Swedish Biathlon Federation leader Olle Dahlin, a current Executive Board member of the IBU.
The IBU is seeking a new president as Anders Besseberg in April said he would stand down after confirming that an investigation into the world governing body was focused on “doping issues”. Austrian Federal Criminal Police conducted a raid on the IBU headquarters in April, with secretary general Nicole Resch requesting a leave of absence amid an investigation into herself and Besseberg.
The IBU has not specified what the Austrian Federal Criminal Police was searching for during the raid, only that the investigation was “focusing on” Resch and Besseberg, who had led the world governing body since its formation in 1993. Senior leadership at the IBU are alleged to have accepted $300,000 (€254,000) in bribes in return for adopting a favourable stance towards Russian athletes caught up in doping infringements.
Following this week’s meeting, the IBU said its executive board has reviewed an amended Code of Ethics draft provided by the Legal Committee. A timeline was agreed to guarantee that the enhanced Code of Ethics, including the revised structure of the Ethics Commission, will be complete and ready for adoption by the upcoming IBU Congress, which takes place from September 5-9. This ethics review will be supplemented by the introduction of a “robust whistleblower policy” and new regulations governing bid committee conduct.
The Executive Board also discussed the budget proposal for the next three-year cycle. The budget, which will be proposed to the IBU Congress, includes a significant rise in terms of contributions to national federations and organising committees. The proposed budget includes a one-third increase in athletes’ total prize funds compared to the previous season, and for the first time comprises prize money for the overall winners of World Cups in the Individual, Sprint, Pursuit and Mass Start disciplines.
Acting secretary general Martin Kuchenmeister stated that the external audit of the IBU anti-doping program conducted by the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) had commenced on schedule in June. The iNADO report will be presented at the IBU Congress.
The IOC has said it will suspend all direct financial payments to the IBU until September’s elections can prove that the federation has a “stable governance and leadership structure”. The IOC Executive Board must also review and confirm it is satisfied with the outcomes of three reports.
The first concerns an amended IBU Code of Ethics and confirmation of the revised structure of the IBU Ethics Commission. Secondly, an iNADO audit of the IBU anti-doping programme and confirmation of related IBU decisions and actions, including a commitment to join the Independent Testing Agency (ITA).
Finally, the IOC is seeking a detailed summary of the action taken by the IBU Independent Working Group regarding the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and related data disclosed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
The IOC has requested the three reports by September 10, with a summary presented to the IOC Executive Board for consideration at its meeting on October 3-4.