The Russian Biathlon Union's appeal over the banning of its athletes will be heard next month at the Court of Arbitration for Sport ©Getty Images

The Court of Arbitration for Sport will consider an appeal by the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) against the banning of its athletes next month.

Russia's official state news agency TASS reported that the hearing would take place on March 21.

It follows the International Biathlon Union (IBU) suspending both Russia and Belarus in March last year following the invasion of Ukraine.

The IBU ruled the countries had brought the sport into "disrepute" and violated "humanitarian obligations" under the worldwide governing body's constitution.

Officials also said it would be "unfair" for Russia and Belarus to be full members of the IBU after the invasion of Ukraine, as the nations had "disrupted the conduct of sport".

A motion to suspend the countries "until they demonstrate their full commitment to supporting and promoting the purposes and principles of the IBU" was later approved in September, as the suspensions were extended.

Following the invasion in February 2022, the IBU said that Russians and Belarusians could compete as neutrals.

Russia and Belarus were suspended by the International Biathlon Union in March ©Getty Images
Russia and Belarus were suspended by the International Biathlon Union in March ©Getty Images

But after suspending the countries the following month it said that neutral applications would be refused.

The International Olympic Committee last month announced that it is exploring options for athletes from Russia and Belarus to return to global sport as neutrals, despite the invasion continuing.

Despite this, TASS reported that the IBU was not currently going to consider the issue. 

Viktor Maigurov was re-elected as RBU President in October.

He claimed he was in dialogue with IBU President Olle Dalin, who was returned to office just a day after Russia and Belarus were suspended.

Biathlon is also one of the sports to have been implicated in the Russian doping scandal.

Niklas Carlsson, the former secretary general of the IBU, has previously warned that the country's ban could be "lengthy".