Russian biathleters signed a petition against doping. Then they withdrew their signatures

Under pressure, the top of the IBU’s athletes’ petition calls for more robust anti-doping action. It was signed by 155 of the two hundred biathlonists starting in the World Cup.

In a petition compiled by Martin Fourcade, Michal Šlesingr and Lowell Bailey, biathlonists demand, among other things: . increasing punishment for doping up to eight years

2. raising fines for national federations that are responsible for doping athletes, up to a million euros

3.the humiliation of the country’s national quota for the World Cups, the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

The paradox in the first wave was also signed by all Russian representatives, even if its creators did not expect it.

But the thing had a hook.

On their copy of the petition to which the Russians have signed the signatures, they have broadened its wording. They have added one more point: the requirement to ban in the future the start of competitions for all athletes with therapeutic exceptions from WADA (World Anti-Doping Association). They permit the use of drugs from the list of illicit drugs, for example, in the treatment of asthma, or in the short-term treatment of certain injuries.

“But that’s something the IBU can not do for the Russians.The abrogation of therapeutic exceptions is not the responsibility of IBU, but WADA, “says Michal Šlesingr. “So, if I added this request, it is more or less the fact that the IBU petition is then removed as a whole from the table. It would be a whole point. ”

Schlesinger and other petitioners at the Antersel World Cup petition contacted the Russian biathlete and tried to explain to them that by basing the text, they basically created a second, own petition different from the original.

“I explained to them that with their request to abolish therapeutic exceptions they can not go to the IBU, that it is totally obsolete and that it can not stand it,” says Schlesinger. “Our goal was, on the contrary, to write in the petition only what is realistic for IBU.We did not want the IBU leaders to give the excuse to declare: Look, athletes do not even know what they want. This is why we have spent a lot of time with a rewriting and word of mouth. ”

The Russians took the time to think about Slesinger’s explanation. On Thursday, they informed him that the team had decided not to sign the original petition.

“It is their case. We did not even expect them to do that because they would have a whip, “says Schlesinger. “It does not matter, there is enough.”

The biathlonists who signed their signatures surprisingly miss most of the Austrian representation. “And we could find some surprises. But so far, I do not want to publish them all, even if it’s time to scream, “says Schlesinger.The original of the petition and all the names were received by the IBU, but individual athletes may also have a look at the list of signatories.

As far as Austrian restraint is concerned, Schlesinger notes: “They can also shed some ashes on the head, some doping flasher in Turin. Moreover, they take it politically too. But this is not a way of helping the biathlon to fight doping at this time. “In the second McLaren’s report, 31 cases of specimen manipulation are reported by Russian biathleters during the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Shocking steps against Russian doping, including the removal of the World Championship 2021, Cheni, demands the IBU and the Czech Union headed by Jiří Hamza.His position was directly or indirectly supported by some other national federations, including Norwegian, American, Canadian or British.

The explanation why, contrary to the IOC’s recommendation, the Biathlon World Championship was awarded to Russia (even with the presidential recommendation of IBU Besseberga), the WADA Anti-Doping Agency is also being asked by the IBU officials.

So what are the biathlonists today hearing from the IBU after the hearing of the executive?

“They could tell us: we’ve coughed to fight doping, “says Schlesinger.

But he immediately smiles: “But they will not say…Still, I still believe they will catch their nose and say: Yes, we take your petition seriously, and in a short time, the IBU Anti-Doping Rules will be modified to show that we are really fighting against doping and not just talking about it. ”

“I think the number of our signatures can no longer be taken lightly.”