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    Athletes during the mixed relay race at the 2016–17 Biathlon World Cup – World Cup 1 in Ostersund, Sweden

    US Biathlon Association to Boycott World Cup Final in Russia’s Tyumen – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Biathlon Association has criticized the International Biathlon Union (IBU) for its decision to hold the World Cup final in Russia and plans to announce Sunday it would boycott the March event over the doping scandal, media said.

    "The IBU’s recent decision to move forward with the World Cup Final in Tyumen, Russia is completely unacceptable. In support of clean sport and our own physical safety, we cannot in good conscience participate," said the authority as quoted by USA Today.

    The statement was reportedly sent by Association's president Max Cobb. It said Russians had been found in breach of the anti-doping code and needed to show "a meaningful commitment to rectifying the doping culture" before hosting sports events.

    "With six athletes already sanctioned by IBU and the IOC from the 2014 Olympic season and another case awaiting a decision, holding the World Cup Final in Russia now sends an outrageous message of anti-doping indifference to the world," it read.

    International Olympic Committee’s spokesman Mark Adams said commented on the situation saying that the US Biathlon Association’s decision to skip the World Cup final in Russia was unfortunate and would not achieve much.

    "Boycotts in general achieve very little, and we’ve seen that in the history of the Games… It’s unfortunate that boycotts happen," Adams told reporters at a briefing in Pyeongchang.

    He said IOC President Thomas Bach was once a "victim of a boycott" and could not defend his title in Moscow in 1980.

    Clean Russian athletes have been allowed to take part in South Korean Olympics this month as neutrals. It will be decided Sunday if they are allowed to carry the national flag at the closing ceremony.

    The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) investigation into the alleged doping by Russian athletes was triggered by the two-part report of McLaren, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigative team. Only 169 Russian athletes were invited to compete in 2018 Winter Olympic games with CAS dismissing appeals filed by dozens of Russian athletes who were not invited to the games.

    Back in 2016 the US Justice Department reportedly has launched investigation into allegations of Russia’s use of doping, along with WADA's decision to probe those allegations.

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    Tags:
    biathlon, International Olympic Committee (IOC), United States, Russia
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