Vladimir Drachev has resigned as Russian Biathlon Union President ©Getty Images

Vladimir Drachev has resigned as President of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) with Viktor Maigourov now set to take charge of the troubled organisation.

Drachev had been seeking re-election as RBU President, with an extraordinary elective conference scheduled to take place tomorrow (July 11).

He had faced calls to step down earlier this year, with 24 people including Olympic champions signing a letter asking him to resign.

Drachev was elected President in May 2018 but has since then been unable to restore the organisation's full membership of the International Biathlon Union (IBU).

The IBU relegated the RBU to provisional membership in December 2017 in response to the country's doping scandal.

Drachev, a four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist, had also warned the RBU owes the worldwide governing body at least €350,000 (£313,000/$395,000).

Recent controversy over how coaches of Russia's national teams were selected also led to criticism of Drachev and ultimately the extraordinary elective conference.

Drachev has now resigned from his post and withdrawn his candidacy in tomorrow’s election, with the official suggesting the decision was related to his work as a deputy of the State Duma in Russia’s Federal Assembly.

Viktor Maigourov is set to be elected Russian Biathlon Union President ©Getty Images
Viktor Maigourov is set to be elected Russian Biathlon Union President ©Getty Images

"Today, after the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, it has become obvious that it is necessary to fully concentrate on the bills that are necessary in connection with the amendments," said Drachev in a statement.

"Citizens of the Russian Federation supported the proposed amendments to the basic law of the country, and since we represent their interests in the State Duma, we must now fully concentrate on work.

"Thus, the additional burden in the State Duma will not give me the opportunity to focus on the work of the RBU.

"In such a situation, it does not seem possible to me to plunge into biathlon with all the usual return, and especially the upcoming preparation of the national team of our country for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

"It is gratifying to realise that I have done a lot as President of the Biathlon Union for the benefit of developing our beloved winter Olympic sport.

"I also express my willingness to continue to provide advisory support to my successor and his team of specialists.

"We will continue to work and maintain biathlon."

Maigourov is now poised to succeed Drachev as RBU President, as the sole candidate in tomorrow’s election.

Maigourov won two Olympic bronze medals during his career, achieving podium finishes at the Winter Olympics at Nagano in 1998 and in Salt Lake City four years later.

He has previously vowed to stand down within a year of being elected if he fails to "fulfil my promises".