The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has unanimously agreed to suspend the federations of Russia and Belarus from competing in the sport with immediate effect.
The IBU believes Russia and Belarus have violated the humanitarian obligations for members under its constitution due to their roles in the war on Ukraine, and so their biathlon federations' continuing participation in biathlon would bring the sport into disrepiute.
The war has also disrupted the Ukrainian biathlon federation and the IBU says it would be 'unfair' for the Russian and Belarusian federations to compete.
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The statement read:
"The IBU Executive Board (EB) has unanimously decided to suspend the National Federations of Russia (RBU) and Belarus (BiFB) with immediate effect.
"Both federations have violated the humanitarian obligations for member federations under the IBU Constitution. These violations by RBU and BiFB bring the IBU and the sport of biathlon into disrepute, and their active membership would undermine the IBU’s and its members’ efforts to promote its constitutional principles and purposes with credibility.
"In addition, the EB agreed that given the Russian invasion of Ukraine has stopped the activities of the Ukrainian Biathlon Federation it would be unfair for the NFs of the attacking countries to continue to enjoy the full rights of IBU membership when their nations have disrupted the conduct of sport in Ukraine.
"The EB will monitor the developments of this situation very closely and will review this decision in the event of a change of circumstances. The decision shall also be reviewed by the 2022 IBU Congress in its meeting on 15-19 September 2022, if it has not been lifted by the IBU Executive Board before.
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