The IOC has stated it has no final say on what the UIPM decides to replace riding with in modern pentathlon ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has clarified it will not decide what the replacement fifth discipline will be in modern pentathlon, with obstacle racing set to make its debut in the sport later this month as it bids to retain its position at the Olympic Games.

In a media conference today following the latest IOC Executive Board meeting, sports director Kit McConnell said that while the IOC had some basic requirements for a replacement discipline, it had no final say in whether obstacle racing would be part of the sport.

"The framework is equally clear in terms of what the IOC set for consideration about a fifth discipline which is accessible to athletes, is cheaper and reduces the cost and complexity for event organisers," said McConnell.

"What we haven't done is provide guidance or review any particular options that are put forward. 

"That's not our role, our role is to look at the end of the process about the product that they are putting together as the fifth discipline and therefore the composition of the sport as a whole and proposing for Los Angeles. 

"Yes, we have had an update. 

"Yes, we continue to stay in touch with them but it is not about us passing judgement or giving feedback, we are just understanding what is going on in that process."

Obstacle racing is expected to replace riding in modern pentathlon ©Getty Images
Obstacle racing is expected to replace riding in modern pentathlon ©Getty Images

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) is considering replacing riding with obstacle racing as one of the five disciplines in the sport, following a decision by the governing body's Executive Board.

It argued "force majeure" for removing riding without consultation from athletes after controversy arose at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when a German trainer punched a horse, leading to animal welfare concerns.

Athletes opposed to the change were critical of the UIPM's lack of communication regarding the decision, with athlete group Pentathlon United - mostly containing individuals from traditional modern pentathlon nations - called for riding to be reinstated.

The IOC added that athletes' voices would continue to be heard.

"I think we have been very clear and we were explicit about this right at the start that the athlete voice needed to be considered in the whole process and we had a conversation directly with the UIPM Athletes’ Commission very early in the process just so they could understand our perspective and the process itself so we look forward to that athletes’ voice being considered but equally we know there are different perspectives and so athletes have different views on different elements," added McConnell. 

"We are just monitoring the situation and waiting for them to come back with their final proposal for our consideration."

The UIPM World Cup Final is ongoing in Ankara, which is scheduled to end on Sunday (June 26).

Obstacle racing is set to make its modern pentathlon debut at a test event on Monday (June 27) and Tuesday (June 28).