The decision over which sport should replace riding in modern pentathlon has already been taken, according to a German news report ©Getty Images

The decision over which sport will replace riding in the modern pentathlon programme has already been taken – and it will not be cycling – the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) President, Klaus Schormann, told a German sports show today, despite previously promising athlete consultation.

The site quotes Schormann exclusively as saying: "We will replace riding with another sport.

"But that will not be cycling."

The report claims that an agreement has already been reached on the substitute sport.

"But I'm not going to reveal what it will be here yet," Schormann adds.

The decision to remove riding as one of the five traditional modern pentathlon events, taken after its troubling problems during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was made by the UIPM Executive Board last week and confirmed on Thursday.

In reaction, there was a storm of protest from within the sport over the imposition of such a ruling without any consultation taking place.

On Friday a total of 667 past and present pentathletes, including both of Britain’s Tokyo 2020 champions, Joe Choong and Kate French, called upon Schormann and the UIPM Executive Board to resign following a decision they described as having "undermined 109 years of modern pentathlon".

The UIPM produced a new statement yesterday (November 6) saying it was "fully aware of the concerns voiced by current and former athletes relating to the Executive Board decision to replace riding in modern pentathlon" and promised an "open dialogue" with athletes to discuss what discipline could replace riding.

It added: "All athletes - who were the recipients of an open letter from the Executive Board on November 4 - are invited to participate in an open dialogue on this matter so that they can better understand the background.

"The open dialogue will be scheduled within the next week.

"All opinions and ideas are welcome and will be fully taken on board for the fifth discipline discussion according to the announced criteria.

"As part of UIPM's normal democratic process, an electoral UIPM Congress will take place in three weeks on November 27 and 28, where member federations will have the opportunity to discuss and debate all motions on the agenda."

Almost 700 modern pentathletes have called on UIPM President to resign following the decision to remove riding from the programme ©Getty Images
Almost 700 modern pentathletes have called on UIPM President to resign following the decision to remove riding from the programme ©Getty Images

No consultation was offered over the dropping of riding – something the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects to have confirmed by November 18.

It is believed Schormann and the IOC President Thomas Bach are due to meet in Lausanne to discuss the matter on Tuesday (November 9).

If the consultation process regarding the fifth discipline now turns out to be a sham, the anger within the sport is likely to intensify.

Yesterday Britain’s 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Kate Allenby, one of the leading lights in the mass protest petition, told insidethegames the decision to remove riding from the programme had "changed the integrity of the sport that was dreamt up by Pierre de Coubertin."

Speaking of the impending meeting between Schormann and Bach, she added: "Both men know they haven’t got the support of the athletes."