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Sturla Holm Lægreid is not allowed to compete in the mass start

Photo: Jasmin Walter/Getty Images

The Norwegian biathlete Sturla Holm Lægreid is not allowed to compete in the last race of the Biathlon World Cup in Lenzerheide after an incident with his weapon. According to the IBU, a shot was accidentally fired during dry training at the team's team accommodation in Switzerland. This is a clear violation of the strict safety rules. Accordingly, the 26-year-old will not be in the mass start on Sunday (14.45 p.m./ZDF and Eurosport). No one was harmed, it said.

"I am deeply sorry for this incident and I sincerely apologize to the entire biathlon family, my teammates and the hotel owner for what happened," Lægreid said in a federation statement: "This is a brutal reminder for me and all biathletes of how important safety routines really are."

The Norwegians reported the dangerous faux pas themselves, and the IBU praised them for their "responsible behaviour". The case is now also being investigated by the authorities in Switzerland, Lægreid has already been questioned by the police. It is being examined whether there could be further consequences, the Norwegian association said.

The incident took place on Friday, Lægreid told the Norwegian newspaper VG. He had mistakenly used a full magazine for dry training, normally an empty one is used for this, otherwise the small-caliber weapons cannot be used. Lægreid shot a hole in a stool on the wall, nothing more happened, he said.

A German benefits from Lægreid's retirement

Lægreid became world champion in the individual and mass start in 2021, and he also won gold in the men's and mixed relay. 2023 won the title again in the mixed relay and collected four more medals in the individual competitions. At the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, he became Olympic relay champion with the Norwegians. He finished second overall in the World Cup in each of the past three seasons.

Lægreid had finished third in the pursuit on Saturday in the triple victory of the Scandinavians. In his place, David Zobel will take his place as the sixth German athlete. After the many penalty laps in the pursuit, sprint winner Benedikt Doll and Co. are looking for redemption.