The IOF have passed a proposal to split the World Orienteering Championships into separate forest and sprint competitions ©IOF

A proposal to split the World Orienteering Championships into forest and sprint events in alternate years has been passed at an Extraordinary General Assembly of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) in Inverness, Scotland, it has been announced.

Currently, both orienteering disciplines take place at the World Championships - this year's event in Highlands and Moray is due to begin tomorrow - but that is set to change after 24 nations voted in favour of the proposal, with nine against.

The inaugural forest event is earmarked for 2019, with the first sprint competition scheduled for the following year.

Applications for host cities for the Championships are due to be  sent out in the autumn and both are expected to take place over a five-day period.

Following the Extraordinary General Meeting, the biannual IOF Presidents’ Conference was held, where IOF senior vice-president Leho Haldna spoke about the proposal to establish an anti-doping fund for the organisation, along with an athletes’ licensing system for those competing in World Championships, which could come to fruition as early as next year.

IOF chief executive Tom Hollowell detailed the next phase of the sport’s development plan, with effective communication, strong management and better use of funds three specific targets to help take orienteering forward.

Former IOF sports director Björn Persson was awarded with the IOF’s eighth gold pin, recognising his 22 years of service with the world governing body.

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France won the right to stage the first round of the 2017 World Mountain Biking Orienteering World Cup, with Austria elected by the International Orienteering Federation as the host of the second round ©IOF

The IOF Council also revealed the latest batch of host cities for events in 2018 and 2019.

Kecskemét in Hungary was awarded the 2018 Junior World Orienteering Championships, while the World Masters Orienteering Championships in the same year will be held in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

The 2018 World Mountain Biking Orienteering (MTBO) Championships will take place in Zwettl, Austria, with Viseu, Portugal,  announced as the host of the World Trail Orienteering Championships in 2019.

Latvia’s capital Riga was chosen to stage the 2019 World Masters Orienteering Championships.

As well as the announcement of the destinations of the upcoming World Championships in several different disciplines, France won the right to stage the first round of the 2017 MTBO World Cup, with Austria elected as the host of the second round.

The IOF also revealed the European MTBO Championships and the World Masters MTBO Championships 2017 will be held together with the World Cup events in France.

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August 2011: 
Scotland is awarded the 2015 World Orienteering Championships