The Russian Biathlon Union announced in its Telegram channel that it had decided not to participate in the competitions of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) due to sanctions against Russian biathletes, the organization will defend the rights of athletes in court.

On Saturday, the IBU announced that the biathletes of the Russian and Belarusian national teams will compete at the World Cup and IBU Cup stages as neutral athletes due to the situation in Ukraine. In addition, biathletes from Russia and Belarus will not receive points at the World Cup stages in the Nations Cup standings, and anthems, flags and uniforms with the symbols of these countries will be banned at competitions.

“We are outraged by these illegal actions of the IBU and will defend in court the rights of our athletes and the rights of the RBU as a member of the IBU. In order not to expose Russian athletes to the risk of humiliation and to exclude a threat to their safety at the remaining stages of the World Cup and the IBU Cup, the RBU decided not to participate in these competitions,” the message reads.

“The Russian Biathlon Union considers the decision of the International Biathlon Union of February 26, 2022 on the neutral status of Russian athletes at the remaining stages of the World Cup and the IBU Cup illegal, unjustified and categorically unacceptable. The RBU did not violate any provisions of the constitution or other IBU rules, so that Russian athletes were deprived of the right to perform with the national flag and anthem, and they were invited to compete in a neutral status. The IBU’s decision directly violates the fundamental principles of Olympism and the Olympic Charter. This is direct discrimination against our country and Russian athletes, incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement,” the statement adds.