The International Biathlon Union (IBU) intensified its fight against doping and doubled the amount of money for anti-doping efforts in its 2009-10 budget. This decision was made at the most recent IBU Executive Board meeting in May 2009. IBU President Anders Besseberg considers the increase appropriate:
“This will secure a solid financial basis to implement a highly professional testing program for both out-of-competition tests and targeted tests in addition to the in -competition testing, in order to do the utmost to fight doping in Biathlon.”
The IBU works with the leading laboratories for the analyses of the conducted tests. According to the director of one of these laboratories, the IBU testing program is among the leaders in the world of sports. The IBU uses both blood and urine testing, with the majority of its tests being “target tests” based on information from blood screenings done through IBU’s “Arietta system”. This system was developed with financial support from WADA. According to Besseberg, this testing has already proven effective:
“We are not proud to have had those three positive cases in the last season. However, we are proud that through the excellent work of our own anti-doping experts we were the first in the world to be able to ‘catch’ athletes using ‘biosimilar’ EPO. This was after we (biathlon), as well as other endurance sports and the laboratories, found some negative but suspicious test results in the previous season.”
IBU’s anti-doping rules are in full compliance with the new WADA Code 2009. It states that the IBU is only allowed to confirm that there is a positive A-sample(s). Only after the B-sample is waived or the B-sample is analyzed and positive can any information be given to the public about the athlete’s name, nationality, the type of substance, etc.
The IBU Executive Board established the “IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel” for the result management process. This group, chaired by Dr. Christoph Vedder of Germany, consists of experts in the fields of anti-doping, medicine, law, and biochemistry. The independent IBU Hearing Panel is the first level of jurisdiction in the case of an offense against the IBU Anti-Doping-Rules.
The International Biathlon Union is the International Federation and Governing Body for the Sport of Biathlon, with accreditation from the International Olympic Committee. The IBU, with headquarters in Salzburg, Austria has 66 member federations.