The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have given the International Biathlon Union (IBU) additional time to explain why they awarded their World Championships in 2021 to the Russian city of Tyumen.
WADA had issued a January 14 deadline at their Foundation Board meeting in November for the IBU to provide them with a "proper explanation" as to how Tyumen secured the hosting rights to the 2021 World Championships.
The IBU are due to hold an extraordinary Executive Board meeting in Antholz on Saturday (January 21) to discuss the situation.
A spokesperson for WADA told insidethegames the IBU had asked for an extension to the deadline, but the organisation said that "under its ISO-accredited Code compliance monitoring procedure, the Agency was not in a position to formally do so".
WADA, however, have essentially agreed to the request after they confirmed they had taken into account the emergency meeting of the IBU's top officials, convened to take "further decisions with regard to the McLaren Report", to allow the governing body to submit the relevant information.
Documentation and information provided by the IBU will be discussed by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), due to hold their next in-person meeting in Montreal on March 16 and 17.
The WADA spokesperson admitted, however, that the CRC could still choose to summon a conference call to discuss the material given by the IBU before those dates.
"WADA was approached a couple of weeks ago by the IBU who, in light of the upcoming extraordinary meeting of their Executive Board, requested an extension of their three-month deadline (expiring on 14 January 2017) to provide us with a proper explanation with respect to the awarding of their 2021 World Championships to the city of Tyumen," the WADA spokesperson told insidethegames.
"WADA recognised that the IBU would be holding an extraordinary Executive Board meeting in the coming days and that all relevant aspects will be taken into account when available.
"The next step under WADA’s ISO-accredited procedure is for the Agency’s independent CRC to review the material to be provided by the IBU and determine the next steps."
The decision to award Tyumen the World Championships, taken at the IBU’s Congress in Chisinau in Moldova last September, is in direct violation of the WADA Code, of which they are a signatory, meaning biathlon’s world governing body remain at risk of being declared non-complaint.
The Code says it is the "responsibility" of the International Federations to "do everything possible to award World Championships only to countries where the Government has ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the UNESCO Convention, and where the National Olympic Committee, National Paralympic Committee and National Anti-Doping Organisation are in compliance with the Code".
There were two other bidders in the race for the 2021 event - Nové Město na Moravě in the Czech Republic and Pokljuka in Slovenia.
Tyumen, located 2,500 kilometres east of Moscow, won in the first round with a majority of 25 votes.
The vote of the IBU to award the Championships sparked controversy following the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board’s recommendation that Winter Federations "freeze preparations" for any major event in Russia and "seek alternative hosts".
This was made in the wake of the first part of the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report.
The IOC then backtracked on this stance, telling Winter Federations the ruling only applied to future candidacies from Russia and not bid processes which had already started or events which had previously been awarded to Russia.
The second part of the report then revealed around 1,000 Russian athletes were implicated in a doping manipulation programme across Summer, Winter, non-Olympic and Paralympic sport between 2011 and 2015.
The IBU were then given the names of 31 biathletes who are implicated in the report, though this does not necessarily mean they have committed a doping offence.
insidethegames understands that even representatives from Russia were unsure of whether they would be able to bid in the wake of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency being declared non-compliant in November 2015.
They had continually asked the IBU if they were free to submit a candidacy from as early as March, four months before the release of the McLaren Report in July.
Tyumen could still yet be stripped of the event, particularly following the damning revelations in the second part of McLaren’s report.
Tyumen has already given up hosting rights to this year's World Cup event following publication of the McLaren Report.
Ostrov also withdrew as the venue for this year's IBU World Junior Championships.