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    International Biathlon Union: Secretary General Steps Down Amid Doping Probe

    © RIA Novosti . Konstantin Chalabov
    Europe
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    Nicole Resch, the Secretary General of the International Biathlon Union (IBU), decided to resign amid the investigation focusing on her and IBU President Anders Besseberg, the organization said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "Due to the ongoing police investigation the IBU Secretary General has requested a leave of absence from her role(s) within the IBU," the document read.

    Executive Director Martin Kuchenmeister will serve as the acting secretary general as Resch decided to step down, the press release noted, adding the the IBU is taking the situation very seriously.

    The IBU Executive Board is cooperating with the investigation, the statement pointed out.

    James Fitzgerald, senior manager for media relations at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said on Wednesday, that the investigation concerning the IBU was related to doping.

    "WADA confirms that the issue is linked to doping, but we do not want to comment further," Fitzgerald said as quoted by the Norwegian NRK broadcaster.

    Other Norwegian media reported earlier in the day, that raids as part of the probe into the IBU had taken place in the country.

    The IBU has been under pressure since it decided to go ahead with holding the March Biathlon World Cup Finals in the Russian city of Tyumen. Several national teams, including those from the United States and the United Kingdom, have boycotted the competition over the doping scandal, which has been rocking Russian sports since 2015.

    On Tuesday, the Austrian Federal Criminal Police carried out a search at the IBU headquarters in Salzburg as part of the probe, the IBU statement read.

    The doping scandal erupted when the WADA accused Russia of multiple violations of anti-doping rules and suspended the Moscow laboratory of the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). In 2016, Richard McLaren, head of the WADA investigative team, presented a two-part report alleging the existence of a state-supported doping program in Russia. Russian officials have refuted the allegations but admitted that Russian sports have had some doping-related issues.

    The situation resulted in the International Olympic Commission imposing a lifetime ban on a number of Russian athletes, the revision of the 2014 Olympics results, as well as the disqualification of the Russian national team from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. Only "clean" athletes from Russia were allowed to participate in this year's Olympics, under a neutral flag.

    Related:

    IBU Asks Russia for Report on Seven Athletes Suspected of Doping
    IBU Opens Probe Into Russian Biathlon Union, 29 Athletes Over Doping Allegations
    IBU Plans to Rule on Russian Athletes Suspected of Doping by 2017
    Russia's Tyumen to Host Biathlon World Championships in 2021 - IBU
    Tags:
    resignation, International Biathlon Union (IBU), Nicole Resch, Austria
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