(ATR) The International Biathlon Union is awarding the 2017 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships to Osrblie, Slovakia.
A new venue was needed after Ostrov, Russia pulled out of hosting the event last month in the aftermath of the second McLaren Report highlighting Russian state-sponsored doping. The championships will be held Feb. 22-28 in Osrblie.
The IBU says a decision will come soon on an alternative host for the Biathlon World Cup that had been scheduled to take place at Tyumen in western Siberia in March. It was the other event "given back" to the IBU by the Russian Biathlon Union in December.
As of now, Tyumen is still scheduled to host the 2021 World Championships, which were awarded in September during the IBU Congress in Moldova. IBU delegates elected the Russian city on the first ballot over rival bids from Nové Město na Moravě in the Czech Republic and Pokljuka in Slovenia.
Tyumen was elected despite an IOC recommendation to all winter sports federations in July to "freeze their preparations for major events in Russia" and find host cities in other countries, following the release of the first McLaren report.
IBU president Anders Besseberg, however, defended the decision at the time, saying that the federation did not need to follow the recommendation of the IOC because the 2021 bidding process was already well underway.
But following the release of the second McLaren Report, Norway’s chief biathlon official was quoted by a Norwegian newspaper as saying the IBU congress would consider relocating the 2021 World Biathlon Championships at its next session, scheduled for 2018 in Porec, Croatia.
Besides giving back the two biathlon events, Russia has also been stripped of hosting the world championships in bobsled and skeleton in Sochi next month and the World Cup Speed Skating event in Chelyabinsk in March.
Written by Gerard Farek
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