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Russia Loses Right To Host Biathlon World Championships In 2021

A biathlon competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014
A biathlon competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014

Russia has lost the right to host another major athletic event due to its doping scandal.

The International Biathlon Union announced on February 8 that, after long consideration of the World Anti-Doping Agency's reports documenting widespread doping and cover-ups in Russia, it has decided to find another country to host the 2021 Biathlon World Championships.

The games had been slated to occur in the Siberian city of Tyumen, which was chosen last September over Slovenia's Pokljuka and Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic.

The union said it will decide on a new location for the games next year.

Biathlon is a classic Olympic sport that combines Nordic skiing and rifle shooting.

The Russian Biathlon Union told the TASS news agency that it will appeal the international union's decision. It had pulled out of hosting the 2017 junior world championships and a World Cup event of its own accord in an effort to end suspicions.

The biathlon union also announced it is dropping charges against 22 Russian biathletes singled out in the anti-doping agency reports, saying it lacked evidence.

The union has suspended only two Russian athletes identified in the reports, prompting criticism from a growing number of biathlon competitors.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP