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The Norwegian Ski Ski Association does not follow the NIF – awaiting assessment of Besseberg’s honorary membership

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The Norwegian Biathlon Union is currently taking no action related to Anders Besseberg’s honorary membership. Photo: Lee Jin-man / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 08.05.2024 14:23:57

Sport: Biathlon president Arne Horten confirms this to NTB on Wednesday.

The board of the Norwegian Sports Confederation decided at its meeting on Tuesday to strip Besseberg of the NIF honorary membership. The decision was announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

In the sports board’s decision, it is stated that Besseberg, by having acknowledged objectionable conditions, has damaged the reputation of sport. He is thus stripped of his honorary membership.

The Norwegian Biathlon Union chooses a different approach to the same question.

– Our decision all along has been that we wait for a final judgment. Besseberg has appealed the verdict, and that appeal has not been resolved, says president Arne Horten to NTB.

– We feel it would be wrong to do something before we have a legally binding judgment to deal with, he adds.

– We do not have any guidelines relating to what is required to deprive someone of an honorary membership. We have never come across a case like this, points out the biathlon president.

Besseberg was appointed an honorary member of the Norwegian Ski Association in 2001. The sports association gave him the same honor twelve years later.

– He has no role in Norwegian or international biathlon now. In that sense, we are in no rush to strip him of any honorary membership, says Horten – and adds:

– Many may think that it is defensive, but we think it is right both in relation to him and the family.

– Besseberg emphasizes that the judgment against him is not legally binding and sees this as part of the preliminary judgment against him, he says to NTB on Wednesday.

Besseberg is one of only three honorary members of the Norwegian Biathlon Union. The legends Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Ole Jacob Bangstad are the other two.

Besseberg was recently convicted on almost all charges and sentenced to three years and one month in prison for gross corruption from his time as president of the International Biathlon Union (IBU).

Horten further points out that the Besseberg case is unique in its nature, and that the association must therefore look at its own guidelines.

Anders Besseberg’s lawyer Mikkel Toft Gimse reacts strongly to the sports association’s decision related to the honorary membership.

(© NTB)

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