Season round-up 2021-22

2021-22: a season of milestones for the BIU – with more to come

The 2021 to 2022 season consolidated the BIU’s status as an active, committed and effective guardian of the integrity of the sport of biathlon, as it celebrated its second anniversary in November 2021.

This was achieved through excellent engagement with the sport’s community of athletes and teams, despite face-to-face restrictions caused by the continuing Covid epidemic.

Throughout the competition season, the BIU implemented a robust anti-doping testing programme, intensifying it in the run-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which were held from 4 to 20 February 2022.

The number of samples taken between May 2021 and the start of the games exceeded 1,300, and the BIU co-operated closely with the International Testing Agency during the Games

One innovation during the season was a co-operation agreement with Sweden’s National Anti-Doping Organisation to make use of its drug detection dog Molly during the IBU World Cup event in Östersund on 21 December, 2021 – the first time Molly had been used at one of our biathlon events.

In an exclusive interview  with the BIU, Clare Egan, Chair of the IBU Athletes´Committee,argued that doping is “not necessary, and I’m an example of that,” pointing to her “breakout” season when she had the fastest course time in one of the IBU World Cups, as a clean 31-year-old athlete. “If I can do that, truly anyone can,” she said.


Athletes and others involved in biathlon can help maintain the sport’s integrity through becoming whistleblowers, and the BIU made a short film encouraging participants to become its eyes and ears and report anything that doesn’t look right – even when they might think it’s not worth reporting. The film can be found here. 

Earlier in the year, the IBU launched its new Safeguarding Policy, which the BIU helped to promote among athletes through a short distributed via YouTube, and which the BIU will help the National Federations to implement in their daily work

The BIU also ran an information campaign on match-fixing in co-operation with the IOC ahead of the Beijing 2022 Games. Through a series of posts on Instagram  and other social media, the BIU aimed to alert biathletes to the dangers of competition manipulation.

The BIU held its Annual Webinar on Anti-Doping and Safeguarding during IBU Youth and Junior World Championships, while more education sessions and webinars are planned for the forthcoming spring and summer period.

The achievements and ambitions of the BIU, as it reached its second anniversary, were set out in greater detail in a podcast interview with Greg McKenna, head of the BIU, which can be found here.

Looking back at the 2021-22 season, Greg McKenna said: “Our second full winter season of operation has demonstrated to me why our work in support of our athletes and the Biathlon Family is so important. Watching our Athletes’ incredible efforts on the track, coupled with the complete devotion I have witnessed from the coaches and technicians, is seldom seen in other aspects of life. As the BIU, we are driven to ensure that such efforts are not compromised by cheats. A vital target for the Biathlon Family is the assurance of complete integrity within our sport. So, please remember, if you are aware of something which you feel is wrong, continue to come forward and tell us.”

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.