The IBU has banned the use of any products containing C8 fluorocarbons ©IBU

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has underlined its efforts to rid "highly harmful" fluorinated products from events after outlining its rules for next season.

Biathlon’s worldwide governing body has announced that National Federations and wax companies will be prohibited from "possessing, applying, using, selling, giving-out or trading" any products containing C8 fluorocarbons at all IBU-sanctioned events.

C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, is a man-made chemical which is proven to harm the environment and have negative health impacts.

While C8 is prohibited by the European Union (EU), the IBU says "low chair flour C6 products are still allowed to be produced, sold or used."

All National Federations and wax companies accredited for IBU events will be expected to sign a declaration stating that their teams and staff participating will adhere to the rules to avoid being barred.

The IBU is also planning for experts from external and certified laboratories to analyse materials produced in the preparation of skis to confirm compliance with regulations, including spot checks.

"Bearing in mind the apparent health risk and environmental concerns connected to fluorine waxes, the IBU remains committed to introducing a full fluor ban and to developing testing methods to ensure fluor-free competitions in the future," said a statement from the IBU.

Spot checks are expected to be carried out to ensure teams and wax companies adhere to IBU and EU regulations ©Getty Images
Spot checks are expected to be carried out to ensure teams and wax companies adhere to IBU and EU regulations ©Getty Images

The use of a fluorine tracker which is said to be able to "instantly detect the presence of fluorine wax on skis" has been postponed until after the 2021-2022 season.

The IBU said the devices were still under development and needed more time to be tested and refined.

"The IBU maintains its commitment to working closely with its National Federations and ski wax manufacturers to develop a reliable test method which guarantees the integrity of its competitions," the IBU statement added.

"Analysis from all involved stakeholders, including wax-companies and technicians of National Federations, has shown that the new and EU-conforming fluorinated-waxes (low chain fluor C6) are competitive and therefore the use of prohibited C8 products would not give any competitive advantage."

Last year, the International Ski Federation (FIS) banned the use of fluorinated waxes in all of its disciplines from the start of the 2020-2021 season before agreeing to postpone it to the following campaign.

The ban is scheduled to come into force on July 1.