An underground shooting range at the South Tyrol Arena is expected to be constructed for Milan Cortina 2026 at a cost of €18 million ©Getty Images

Rasen-Antholz Mayor Thomas Schuster has insisted renovations to biathlon venue the South Tyrol Arena will be completed for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics, after a pause in work because of an appeal over the awarding of the contract.

The South Tyrol Arena is a regular International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup host, and a six-time venue for the IBU World Championships, most recently in 2020.

Improvements to the facility for Milan Cortina 2026 are set to include the installation of an underground indoor shooting range, and expected to be completed in 2025 before a scheduled IBU World Cup in Antholz from January 20 to 26.

The work is expected to amount to around €40 million (£34.2 million/$43.9 million), with construction of the underground range expected to cost €18 million (£15.4 million/$19.7 million).

The contract for the underground range had initially been awarded to the company Unionbau, but this was annulled by the Bolzano Regional Court of Administrative Justice (TAR) following an appeal by Gasser/Ploner.

The Province of Bolzano's agency for public contracts is expected to relaunch its call for tenders.

However, Schuster has promised that the disruption will not prevent the work at the South Tyrol Arena from being completed in time for the Winter Olympics.

Antholz has held the IBU World Championships on six occasions, most recently in 2020 ©Getty Images
Antholz has held the IBU World Championships on six occasions, most recently in 2020 ©Getty Images

Milan Cortina 2026 confirmed it was aware of the situation, but said "we are confident that everything will work out for the best".

"Nevertheless, we must not forget that the Anterselva venue is already - as it is today - an excellence," it told insidethegames.

"The skills of the OCOG [Organising Committee of the Olympic Games] and of the professionals who work all year round in Anterselva will allow us to offer athletes and fans a unique experience."

The next edition of the Winter Olympics are due to be held across an area covering approximately 22,000 square kilometres.

Preparations for Milan Cortina 2026 have been marred by disruption, including Andrea Varnier's protracted appointment to succeed Vincenzo Novari as Organising Committee chief executive in November last year.

The Winter Olympics are due to be held from February 6 to 22 2026, followed by the Winter Paralympics from March 6 to 15.

Para biathlon is on the programme for the Winter Paralympics, but is due to be held at the Lago di Tesero Cross Country Stadium in Tesero.