The Biathlon Integrity Unit (BIU) has released its Annual Report for the period from May 2023 to April 2024, marking a year of heightened focus on governance and prevention. 

In her introductory message, Louise Reilly, Chair of the BIU Board, stated, “Our commitment to sustaining a clean, fair, and transparent sport has never been stronger. This document encapsulates our ongoing efforts, strategic advancements, and a renewed pledge to safeguard our athletes, officials, and stakeholders from any form of misconduct.” 

Greg McKenna, Head of the BIU, underscored the importance of good governance practices for all stakeholders. “Recent events within our own realm and the broader sports community have highlighted the vulnerabilities and potential consequences of complacency. These lessons reinforce our conviction that strong governance is fundamental to the integrity and future of sports. Our commitment to the Biathlon Family is to foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and fairness. Understanding our community, its unique dynamics, challenges, threats, and risks is central to our mission. Only with insight can we effectively safeguard our sport against integrity threats.” 

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the BIU’s operational activities, including key facts and figures. Out of a total budget of €1.97 million (up from €1.70 million last year), 51% was spent on Sample Collection & Analysis, 17% on Operations, 12% on Prevention, 17% on Legal Support, and 3% on the BIU Board. 

Key Anti-Doping Statistics 

The BIU collected 1,293 samples, with 64% collected out of competition. A total of 338 athletes from 32 nations were tested. The BIU also continued its collaboration with the IBU’s Development Department, emphasizing education for coaches through contributions to the IBU Academy’s Coaches Courses on Anti-Doping, Safeguarding, and other integrity-related matters. 

Education Initiatives 

As education is key the BIU continued its efforts to educate especially young athletes, through educational activities such as Outreaches & Seminars various IBU Events such as the IOC-IBU development camps, IBU and Junior Cups and Youth and Junior World Championships. 

Other Highlights 

  • BIU-NADO Workshop: A two-day workshop for National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) in Salzburg aimed at exchanging experiences, sharing resources, and ensuring high-quality anti-doping work while identifying system weaknesses. 
  • New Athlete Ambassadors: Chloe Levins (USA) and Lovro Planko (SVK) were engaged as new athlete ambassadors to support BIU communication with the community. 
  • Safeguarding Webinar: The “Keep Biathlon Safe” webinar targeted administrative personnel from National Federations, focusing on safeguarding issues. A highlight was a talk by Allison Forsyth, which can be viewed here
  • Improved Reporting Hotline: Enhancements to the online platform for reporting wrongdoing in biathlon included a more user-friendly interface and availability in three languages: English, Russian, and German. Access the improved reporting hotline here
  • Former IBU President Conviction: Since its inception, the BIU has worked closely with criminal authorities to investigate allegations of corruption by former IBU officials. On April 12, 2024, former IBU President Anders Besseberg was convicted of corruption in Norway, underscoring the BIU’s and government bodies’ commitment to fairness, transparency, and integrity in biathlon. 

The full BIU Annual Report for May 2023 to April 2024 can be found here.