Anders Besseberg "has informed the IBU Executive Board that he is stepping down from his position as long as the investigation is ongoing," the International Biathlon Union said. According to a damning World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) assessment reported by France's Le Monde, the IBU did "everything so that no proceedings would be opened against the Russians" over doping.
WADA confirmed to AFP on Wednesday that it had conducted "an investigation into the activities of the IBU... related to doping" but gave no further details. Austrian prosecutors said Thursday following their raid on IBU headquarters in Salzburg this week that are investigating possible doping, fraud and bribery.
In their sights are IBU staff and athletes and officials from Russia's biathlon team, prosectors said.
The allegations include that possible cases of doping "were not reacted to in an appropriate manner" and that "bribes of USD 300,000 were promised and/or accepted", a statement said.
According to WADA, areas of concern included fears over "biological passports", "Besseberg's unwavering support of Russian interests"... and "the initial awarding of the 2021 world championships to Russia".
The world championships of 2021 were awarded in 2016 to Tyumen in Siberia despite the scandal of state-backed Russian doping from 2011 to 2015 having already been revealed.
Under pressure, notably from WADA, the IBU eventually stripped Russia of the 2021 championships.
To hide cases of doping amongst Russian biathletes, the IBU sent suspicious profiles to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada), and "ensured that doped Russian athletes could not be spotted," Rodchenkov told investigators, according to Le Monde.
According to Le Monde, both Besseberg, 72, and Resch, 42, were targeted "successfully" by Russia.
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