The UIPM has passed a motion that can remove riding from modern pentathlon ©Getty Images

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has approved a motion to remove riding from modern pentathlon today at the UIPM Congress, despite an ongoing Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) case against the Board's use of force majeure to make the decision.

A vote was held on ratifying the removal of riding - which could be replaced by an unnamed sport - during the Congress, with the motion passing 66-15.

The next step would see the UIPM submit a competition format to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with a new discipline decided by members at the 2022 Congress.

The Olympic Programme Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday (December 1), with this meeting seeing recommendations being made to the IOC Executive Board, who are set to make a decision on the programme for Los Angeles 2028 at its meeting, scheduled from December 7 to 9.

This could all be undone, however, if CAS case against the UIPM's force majeure on October 31 - in which the organisation made the decision on riding without debate from members - is upheld, forcing the process to go back to the start.

This case was submitted by the Danish Modern Pentathlon Association earlier this month.

It was added that the UIPM's legal advisor said the decision could be taken because of force majeure as "events outside the control of the Board".

Saint-Boy refused to jump during the riding section at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Saint-Boy refused to jump during the riding section at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

This decision arose from a controversial series of events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the sport being criticised over animal welfare following German coach Kim Raisner being sent home due to footage being found of them punching the horse Saint-Boy, which was one of those who refused to jump.

Germany’s Annika Schleu had been leading the competition before the riding stage when Saint-Boy pulled up.

More than 650 athletes, including Britain's Tokyo 2020 champions Joe Choong and Kate French, declared they had no confidence in the UIPM President Klaus Schormann and the rest of the Executive Board, urging them to resign, prior to the Congress.

There was controversy over giving members the floor throughout the Congress, with opponents to the equestrian change - Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Hungary - reportedly being denied the chance to put their case forward.

Egypt was given the floor, expressing its approval of the change with its delegate reportedly stating: "We should never be afraid of change," according to "PentathlonCongress2021", a Twitter account that live-tweeted the Congress.

"Athletes that oppose removal of riding fear competition from new entrants."

Guatemala claimed it was modern pentathlon's duty to support athletes who were unable to ride, while a delegate from Burundi added that it was difficult to practise riding in Africa.

Ukraine's delegate spoke of the importance of riding and the necessity to follow the UIPM statutes, while Pentathlon GB chair David Armstrong said there were solutions to keep riding, but they had not been tried.

UIPM vice-president Joël Bouzou claimed the Board had done everything it could to keep riding as part of the sport, with the indication being since the decision on October 31 that the IOC had requested its removal.

IOC member and UIPM first vice-president Juan Antonio Samaranch confirmed during the Congress that there was no demand from the IOC, but they had to act proactively to keep the sport in the Games.

"There is high chances that we [the current UIPM leadership] cannot convince the IOC," said Samaranch, according to PentathlonCongress2021.

"We must rapidly develop a new event - then a chance exists."

He pointed towards modern sports such as 3x3 basketball, skateboarding and surfing that are more attractive to young people and claimed there are "no core sports".

Modern pentathlon is a core sport of the Olympics, meaning it has a guaranteed place on the Olympic programme at the moment, but this can change in future.

Klaus Schormann, running unopposed, was re-elected as UIPM President, but with 12 votes against him ©Getty Images
Klaus Schormann, running unopposed, was re-elected as UIPM President, but with 12 votes against him ©Getty Images

UIPM President Klaus Schormann was re-elected to the position he has held for 28 years and is due to sit for another four years, gaining 72 votes, but 12 against - having ran unopposed.

Sherif El-Erian, President of Egyptian Modern Pentathlon Federation, was elected as vice-president until 2024; while Bouzou, Viacheslav Aminov and Juan Manzo Orañegui were all re-elected as vice-presidents too.

The United States' John Helmick was re-elected unopposed as treasurer.

Poland's Janusz Peciak was re-elected to the Board as member for sport, Britain's Martin Dawes as member for marketing, Lithuanian Andrejus Zadneprovskis as member for media and Georgia's Viacheslav Malishev as member for development.

Ágnes Kulcsar of Hungary, Italy's Andrea Dell'Amore, Ana Ruth Orellana of Guatemala, Chung Dong-kook of South Korea, France's Corine Bouzou and Egypt's Ali Assem Abdelghany Ali were elected to the Technical Committee; while Canadian Barry Tompkins, Bulgaria's Andrey Kuzmanov, Brazil's Ana Luisa Almeida and Egypt's Mohamed Hady Gad are on the Business Affairs Committee.

Natalja Ofitserova of Belarus, Atanas Andreev of Bulgaria, United States' Douglass Stull, Brazil's Marco Michelucci, China's Dapeng Bao and Mohamed Ahmed Abdelmonem of Egypt now form the Medical Committee.

The UIPM budget was approved by 63 votes to four.

Insidethegames has contacted the UIPM for comment on issues raised at the Congress.