— Published 18 April 2023

Anders Besseberg charged for corruption

The downward spiral continues for Anders Besseberg. The former president of the International Biathlon Federation (IBU), who was pushed out in 2018 after more than 25 years in power, was charged on Monday 17 April in Norway with “aggravated corruption“. Marianne Djupesland, an official of Økokrim, the police branch specialising in economic and environmental affairs, explained: “There is sufficient evidence to show that he accepted bribes continuously over a period of ten years.” The former IBU president, who headed the biathlon body between 1992 and 2018, is alleged to have accepted “watches, hunting parties and trophies, prostitutes and a leased car” during his tenure in exchange for his silence in the face of numerous doping cases in Russian biathlon. An investigation by the IBU’s external ethics commission, set up by the body’s current president, Sweden’s Olle Dahlin, concluded in 2021 that the former Norwegian leader had protected Russian interests, with the help of his director general, Germany’s Nicole Resch. Her report claimed that Anders Besseberg had pocketed at least $200,000 from Russian officials, been invited to hunting parties in Russia and received the services of prostitutes. Now 77 years old, he denies all the facts. His lawyer, Christian Hjort, told the Norwegian news agency NTB that his client “has never allowed himself to be bribed and has not tried to influence the IBU’s anti-doping work in favour of anyone“. Cautiously, the IBU explained on Monday 17 April that it was “taking note” of the indictment of its former president. It also said it was “working closely with Økokrim on this complex case.”