France, Sweden removed from list of IBU World Cup venues

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Östersund and Annecy-Le Grand Bornand were removed from the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup venues list in the first quarter of the coming season after the governing body decided to reduce the number of stops on the circuit.

The IBU Executive Office moved events planned for the Swedish and French venues, which were to take place between November and December, to Kontiolahti in Finland and Hochfilzen in order to limit the number of trips for athletes and other participants.

Kontiolahti and Hochfilzen will now host back-to-back World Cups before the end of the year.

The Finnish station is expected to hold competitions from November 27 to 29 and from November 30 to December 6, before the series heads to Hochfilzen.

Athletes are expected to compete at the Austrian venue, host of the 2017 World Championships, from December 7 to 13 and December 14 to 20.

Changes to the World Cup schedule were expected due to travel restrictions and other measures imposed across the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The IBU Executive Board has also decided to guarantee financial support to its event organizers, including those who organize additional events under the new program and those who no longer organize a World Cup due to modification of the schedule.

“Biathlon, like all sports, faces challenges that we have never faced before,” said IBU President Olle Dahlin.

“Although disappointing, we have to accept that changes to our original plans are absolutely necessary.

“But by working with everyone involved in biathlon, we have been able to find solutions that prioritize the health of our biathlon family and at the same time maximize the number of events that can take place.

“We believe that the plan we developed has achieved this goal.

“We kept the same number of World Cup events for the first quarter and made sure all levels of biathlon will be served with international competitions next season.

“There is a lot to look forward to for our athletes and our fans.

“We will continue to follow the advice of medical experts and implement carefully considered safety measures at all of our events.

“We remain flexible in the face of changes, but we look forward to the start of the new season. “



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