Athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from IBU competitions, and both countries' National Federations are suspended ©Getty Images

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) Executive Board has recommended that members vote to extend the suspension of the Russian and Belarusian National Federations at next month's Congress until they meet "certain conditions" including "clearly distancing themselves from the war in Ukraine".

The IBU has gone further than the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recommendations in its measures against both countries since the invasion of Ukraine, with the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) and Biathlon Federation of Belarus (BiFB) suspended by the Executive Board since the end of March having violated "humanitarian obligations."

Athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus have also been banned from IBU competitions, in line with the IOC's call.

The IBU Congress is set to be held in the Austrian city of Salzburg from September 15 to 18, and the Executive Board has submitted motions which would extend and confirm both measures if approved by members.

Suspensions implemented by the Executive Board require Congressional approval at the next opportunity, and the motion lays out proposed criteria for the RBU and BiFB to restore their status, with both bodies required to prove their dissociation with the war in Ukraine.

"The IBU Executive Board’s motion proposes that the RBU’s and BiFB’s membership will be suspended until they demonstrate their full commitment to support and promote the purposes and principles of the IBU, for example clearly distancing themselves from the war in Ukraine and ensuring that none of their officials or athletes are actively involved in the Russian military and/or take any part in the war effort," a statement read.

"The IBU Executive Board will monitor the implementation of the conditions above and may provisionally lift the suspension imposed until the next Congress, if it considers in its absolute discretion that the above-mentioned conditions have been fulfilled."

The RBU and BiFB will have the "right to be heard" at the Congress in Salzburg, and both have been asked by the IBU to respond to the motions.

Motions to extend the measures against Russia and Belarus are set to be voted on at the ISU Congress in Salzburg next month ©Getty Images
Motions to extend the measures against Russia and Belarus are set to be voted on at the ISU Congress in Salzburg next month ©Getty Images

The RBU had already been relegated to provisional membership since 2017, while Belarus has previously been stripped of hosting an IBU World Cup following a series of protests triggered by the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko in August 2020.

However, the RBU criticised the Executive Board's measures as a "hypocritical and politicised decision."

"We believe that today’s IBU Executive Board voiced recommendations in regard to athletes from Russia and Belarus were hypocritical and politicised, just like their March decisions," it said in a statement reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"They [the recommendations] contradict the IBU Constitution and inflict damage upon the global sport of biathlon."

A further motion at the IBU Congress is set to propose amending the Constitution to grant the Executive Board the power to "impose exceptional protective measures aimed at preserving the safe, peaceful and regular conduct of the IBU’s activities" following "exceptional events or circumstances outside of the IBU’s control."

An urgent matter at the International Skating Union Congress in June which would have enabled the Council to temporarily suspend officials due to an "extraordinary event" failed to achieve the super majority required.

Neither the Russian Olympic Committee nor National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus have been suspended by the IOC.