PRESIDENT of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, confirmed that the UIPM (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) will be invited to finalise proposals for a new Modern Pentathlon format minus horse riding for consideration by the IOC Session in 2023.

The UIPM announced the decision to drop horse riding from the sport after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games following controversial scenes in Tokyo.

At the IOC Executive Board meeting which took place this week, Bach said: “The UIPM must finalise its proposal for the replacement of horse riding and the overall competition format, and demonstrate a significant reduction in cost and complexity and an improvement across the areas of safety, accessibility, universality and appeal for young people and the general public.”

IOC Sport Director Kit McConnell added: “[UIPM] are now going through a process of looking at alternative options that’s framed around making sure the fifth discipline increases the accessibility to the sport around the world.

“Once we see their proposal and once we understand how it meets those objectives of being more accessible and reducing cost and complexity… we can further assess the situation and make a decision in 2023.”

McConnell added: “The athletes have to be a very central part of that review process and we’ve made ourselves available to discuss that with the UIPM Athletes Committee to make sure they have a very clear understanding of the position of the IOC and the pathway forward.”


However, athletes and some federations are revolting against the drastic change. Some 900 pentathletes from around the world have joined to form a group called Pentathlon United. The group wrote a letter to Bach ahead of the IOC Board meeting asking him to use his influence against a “damaging and destructive decision”.

The letter stated that the “oldest sport on the programme of the Olympic Games has been thrown into turmoil by the executive board of UIPM which decided in a secret meeting – without any consultation with the pentathlon community – to drop riding from the format after Paris 2024.”

It added: “Our equestrian discipline is a fundamental foundation of our sport. We are deeply convinced that leaving out riding will not solve any of the common reservations about modern pentathlon, instead, it will create additional challenges and ruin years of hard work for hundreds of athletes.”

The letter was signed by 46 Olympic medallists, including the 2020 champions, Britain’s Joe Choong and Kate French.

Many federations and athletes believe the UPIM’s process for dropping riding was unconstitutional, which UIPM denies, and the Danish federation has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on this basis.