Plan of the world association: reference to the IOC – return of Russians and Belarusians

As of: November 19, 2023 8:08 p.m

The world equestrian sports association FEI wants to allow starters from Russia and Belarus again.

The board had decided to lift the previously valid ban, the FEI announced on Sunday (November 19, 2023) after a meeting in Mexico City and referred to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

At the end of last year, the IOC recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus be allowed to return to international sports competitions under certain conditions. To do this, they would have to respect the Olympic Charter and the existing sanctions because of the war in Ukraine, said the International Olympic Committee. There has been a lot of discussion about this recommendation and a lot of criticism.

No more international Competitions in Russia and Belarus

The world association FEI initially did not follow this recommendation. In March, the association announced that it would continue to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus. The FEI also justifies the decision by saying that it is not possible for the association to ensure the neutrality of Russian and Belarusian athletes “evaluate fairly and objectively”.

Now the world association has apparently changed its mind. According to the FEI’s plans, Russian and Belarusian athletes, horses and officials will be allowed to start as so-called “neutrals” in the future; the ban imposed at the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine will no longer apply. The conditions and schedule for implementation are to be clarified in December.

The ban on international competitions in Russia and Belarus remains, as the FEI explained. Both countries play no role in top international sport.