e Biathlon

The former biathlon boss Anders Besseberg has to be imprisoned. © APA / EXPA/JFK

Watches & prostitutes: Ex-biathlon boss has to go to prison

The former president of the World Biathlon Federation, Anders Besseberg, has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for serious corruption. Among other things, he is said to have covered up Russian doping in biathlon.

The 78-year-old Norwegian, who was IBU president for 25 years from 1993 to 2018 and was a guest in Antholz several times, was found guilty of nine out of ten charges. This emerged from the ruling of the Buskerud court in Hokksund, Norway. The charges against Besseberg related to the years 2009 to 2018.

Besseberg was accused of taking bribes with luxury watches, hunting trips, prostitutes and a leased car. Among other things, Besseberg was convicted on the basis of an interview by the Austrian police in which he admitted to receiving sexual favors. He later withdrew his statement and has since denied having anything to do with prostitutes. “The defendant has shown a lack of role understanding and self-knowledge,” the judge said on Friday. Besseberg clearly received undue advantages when he was at the head of the IBU.

Besseberg is said to have covered up Russian doping

As early as January 2021, the independent external audit commission (ERC) found that Besseberg had covered up doping in the Russian team for decades. He was rewarded by the Russians with “bribes, hunting trips and prostitutes,” the ERC report said.

“I am of course disappointed and surprised by the verdict.” Anders Besseberg

The court also did not believe Besseberg that his many sponsored hunting trips were private. According to the court, these were obviously related to his position in biathlon and accused him of “deliberately confusing roles”. Several of the trips were paid for by important partners of the association. Besseberg was also found guilty of corruption because he drove a free leased car, the costs of which were covered by partners.

Besseberg immediately appealed. “I am of course disappointed and surprised by the verdict,” he said after answering the question of whether he had understood the verdict in the affirmative.

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