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Czech Biathlon Team Announces Russia Boycott Over Doping


A World Anti-Doping Agency report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren on doping in Russian sports found nearly 1,000 athletes involved in doping in recent years and said there were 31 suspicious doping cases by Russian biathletes.

The Czech Republic's biathlon team says it will boycott a World Cup event in the Russian city of Tyumen next year as a result of the Russian doping scandal.

Jiri Hamza, the head of the Czech biathlon federation, said on December 21 that the Czech biathletes "won't be there" and that he "can't imagine that it will take place [in Tyumen]" at all.

The event is scheduled for March 9-12.

The Czechs' announcement comes after a call from French Winter Olympic champion biathlete Martin Fourcade for the International Biathlon Union (IBU) to take strong action against Russian biathletes.

The IBU is due on December 22 to announce sanctions against Russian biathletes accused of doping.

A December 9 report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren on doping in Russian sports found nearly 1,000 athletes involved in doping in recent years and said there were 31 suspicious doping cases by Russian biathletes.

Hamza, Fourcade, and several others are calling for the 2021 biathlon world championships, also scheduled for Tyumen, to be moved to another site.

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting.

Based on reporting by AFP and iDnes.cz
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