The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has approved final versions of a new strategic plan and constitution which president Olle Dahlin believes will herald the start of a “truly new and exciting era” for the sport.

The strategic plan and constitution will be presented to national federations for their approval at the IBU’s extraordinary congress scheduled for October 18-20 in Munich, Germany. Entitled ‘Target 26’, the strategic plan is the first of its kind for the IBU and seeks to reflect the organisation’s commitment to maximising its global potential.

The new IBU Constitution, which includes a new Integrity Code, will be at the heart of the sport’s foundation and has been developed in line with international best practice. The developments come amid a turbulent recent history for biathlon and its world governing body.

The IBU last month appointed Niklas Carlsson, former chief executive of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Åre 2019, to be its new permanent secretary general. Carlsson officially joined the IBU on Sunday following a period in which former secretary general Nicole Resch and former president Anders Besseberg were implicated in a criminal investigation into doping, fraud and bribery.

Austrian Martin Kuchenmeister replaced Resch as secretary general on an interim basis, but he was then forced to stand down over a personal relationship with assistant Marie-Luise Kreilinger, who also resigned. Norwegian Alf Koksvik took over as interim secretary general from Kuchenmeister in March.

In May, the IBU furthered its reform efforts by announcing that it would establish a new independent integrity unit. Commenting on Target 26 and the new constitution, Dahlin said: “We want to be the very best in everything we do and to do that we need to have a cutting-edge constitution and an innovative and forward-thinking strategic plan which guides our future.

“These documents will now be sent to our national federations and we look forward to presenting them in person for their approval during the Congress. We are proud of the progress we have made together and the Congress will be the beginning of a truly new and exciting era for biathlon.”

Meanwhile, the IBU’s Executive Board has ruled that the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) is not yet ready to regain full membership. The RBU was relegated to provisional member status in December 2017 amid the fallout from the Russian doping scandal.

The RBU has since had to meet 12 criteria to regain full membership. The IBU said in a statement yesterday (Monday): “The IBU representatives of the IBU/RBU Criteria Follow-Up Working Group reported on three meetings with the RBU to examine the fulfilment of the criteria.

“They highlighted the very good exchange and positive working atmosphere with the RBU and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. It was further reported that the evaluation and implementation of the 12 criteria is not yet finished. Since this process is still ongoing, the Executive Board decided that it is too early to make a final decision on the re-instatement of the RBU in time for the Extraordinary Congress.”