BIU builds on robust out-of-competition testing programme ahead of new season and Beijing 2022 Olympics

The Biathlon Integrity Unit is preparing for the start of the new biathlon season on Saturday 27 November, building on a summer competition and training season in which it maintained a robust out-of-competition anti-doping testing regime.

That regime followed an in-depth risk assessment that was carried out during the 2020-21 season, resulting in the establishment of the International Biathlon Union’s Registered Testing Pool of athletes that are subject to out-of-competition testing.

Testing levels increased slightly over the period, compared with the previous season, with almost 800 samples collected (urine, blood and Athlete Biological Passport) since 1 May, despite the testing restrictions imposed by the continuing effects of the Covid pandemic.

Testing ahead of next year’s Beijing 2022 winter Olympic Games is being implemented in collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA), which is in charge of the pre-Games testing programme on behalf of the International Olympic Committee.

The programme is operated in close co-operation with National Anti-Doping Agencies, helping to ensure that Olympic athletes not included in the IBU Registered Testing Pool are nevertheless subject to testing ahead of the Games.

Greg McKenna, Head of the BIU, said: ‘On the lead up the Games, to ensure our athletes are safe and fully supported, we will be increasing our efforts on whereabouts research, sample collection, sample analysis, intelligence gathering and investigations.

‘This will be supported by targeted communications and education, designed to ensure the Biathlon Family is well informed. I must stress, integrity of our sport is a team game, and so if you have any information which may assist in protecting somebody or identifying wrongdoing, we are always available to listen’.  

The new biathlon season begins with the first BMW IBU World Cup event of the season in Oestersund, Sweden, on 27 to 28 November, 2021.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 4 to 20 February, 2022.

Note to Editors

The Biathlon Integrity Unit is an operationally independent and specialised unit of the International Biathlon Union. It was established in 2019 in order to ensure all of Biathlon’s stakeholders can have confidence that ethical issues in the sport will be addressed independently and expertly.