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The Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU) has announced today that it has partnered with the Tirol, Austria-based University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology’s (UMIT) Institute for Sport Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism to build and implement a comprehensive clean sport education programme.
The two-year long partnership programme will be fully compliant with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and 2021 International Standard for Education, both of which come into force at the start of next month. 
Anti-doping programmes have traditionally focused on the doping control aspects, however in recent years the emphasis has shifted increasingly to information provision and values-based education, so that all athletes are aware of the rules and the dangers of doping. 
Central to the BIU – UMIT collaboration will be work that monitors the BIU’s education programmes; an exercise that is seen as essential in maintaining or adapting existing preventative education programmes. In addition, the partnership will allow new programmes to be developed in order to eliminate any weaknesses and knowledge gaps [in the programme] among athletes and, further, allow resources to be utilised efficiently. 
The overriding purpose of the BIU – UMIT preventative education partnership is to ensure Biathletes are provided with the best possible educational recourses.  This will be achieved through analysis and, evaluation of the programmes which the BIU will offer its athletes. The evaluation exercise will be conducted through an online questionnaire, which will be sent to biathletes by email. In conjunction, an on-site survey will also take place at key biathlon competitions. 
The educational measures that result from the evaluation will be implemented in collaboration with the IOC-backed International Testing Agency (ITA).
“The BIU is delighted to partner with UMIT to deliver this education monitoring programme for biathletes worldwide. Education has gained in importance [in anti-doping] in recent years, as it is widely seen as central to how we keep athletes competing fair and, further, to how we prevent doping in biathlon for future generations. At the BIU, we prioritise listening to athletes and learning how we can best deliver effective education to them as professional competitors,” said BIU Head, Greg McKenna.
 

 

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