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Biathlon Union Limits Russia's Membership Rights Over 'Doping Conspiracy'

The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

Russia's federation for biathlon -- a winter sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting -- has been relegated to provisional membership of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) over "the Russian doping conspiracy."

A statement issued by the IBU on December 10 said Russia now will no longer have a vote at IBU congresses but can continue to take part in events.

IBU President Anders Besseberg said the decision applies initially until the end of the 2017-18 season.

The IBU move follows the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The IBU said its executive board will review the possibility of restoring the Russian federation’s full membership at a later date.

But it said the IOC first must lift its suspension of Russia’s national committee, no doping violations by Russian biathletes are reported since the start of 2017, and the Russian biathlon federation must fully cooperate in investigations into the involvement of Russian officials in “the Russian doping conspiracy.”

The IBU also said its executive board can decide to extend the limitations on Russia’s membership if those conditions are not met.

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