FEI Suspends Membership of SportAccord

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FEI President Ingmar De Vos at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne where FEI statutes were changed to allow the president to receive a salary. © 2015 FEI/Germain Arias-Schreiber
FEI President Ingmar De Vos. © 2015 FEI/Germain Arias-Schreiber

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 21, 2015–The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced Thursday it has suspended membership in SportAccord, the 15th sport to take action against the union of Olympic, non-Olympic international sports federations and organizers of international sporting events.

“SportAccord’s President Marius Vizer has been informed of the FEI Executive Board’s decision,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“The FEI, alongside many other international sports federations and the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations will seek full clarity regarding SportAccord’s role and mission, including a review of SportAccord’s governance and management.”

The FEI’s membership with SportAccord will be discussed by the FEI Bureau at its in-person meeting on June 9.

The FEI action effective immediately follows athletics, shooting, archery, canoeing, boxing, hockey, taekwondo, wrestling, bobsleigh, triathlon, weightlifting, rowing, modern pentathlon and volleyball.

The controversy arose after SportAccord President Marius Vizer told the group’s convention the International Olympic Committee “lacked transparency,” that its Agenda 2020 reform process had brought “hardly any benefit” to sport and that it had unfairly blocked SportAccord in its drive to organize new Commissions and events.

Inside the Games that reports on sports organizations said that every summer sport body except for the Vizer-led International Judo Federation signed a letter supporting the decision of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations to “disassociate” its affiliation with SportAccord. The International Paralympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation have made a similar move.