Dhe former president of the biathlon world federation IBU, Anders Besseberg, is accused of serious corruption in Norway. As the Norwegian investigative authority for white-collar crime announced on Monday, it is about allegedly criminal acts in the period from 2009 to 2018. Besseberg is said to have committed, among other things, bribes in the form of watches, hunting trips and trophies, the services of prostitutes and a leased car that he between Used in Norway in 2011 and 2018.
Besseberg’s lawyer, Christian B. Hjort, stated in a written statement to the Norwegian news agency NTB: “Besseberg maintains that he has never taken a bribe or attempted to influence the IBU’s anti-doping work to the benefit of anyone.” Client was a “hardliner” in the fight against doping. “He has insisted that all doping cases must be dealt with in accordance with the rules, whether the suspicion is against athletes from the West or the East. This has made him unpopular with individuals and has given rise to several unfounded allegations against him.”
IBU: “Apparently Russian interests protected”
“The seriousness of the matter is underscored by the breach of trust that his actions represent in light of his position as IBU President,” prosecutor Marianne Djupesland said, according to a statement on Monday. According to Norway, it worked with the Austrian authorities via the EU agency Eurojust during the investigation. Eurojust is responsible for judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the European Union. Authorities in the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein and Canada also supported the investigation.
Besseberg was President of the World Biathlon Association from 1993 to 2018. An independent external review commission (ERC) set up in November 2018 had set out many of the Norwegian’s misconduct in a report in early 2021. He is said to have displayed “systematically corrupt and unethical behavior”. In addition, he “obviously protected Russian interests, especially in connection with the fight against doping,” said an IBU statement on Monday. The integrity office of the world association continues the investigations of the ERC.