The FEI Board has approved a list of criteria and conditions that Russian and Belarusian athletes, FEI registered support personnel, horse owners and officials must fulfil in order to be allowed to return to competition at FEI Events. The decision was taken following the lifting of the protective measures regarding Russian and Belarussian athletes, horses, and officials agreed at the in-person FEI Board meeting on November 19.


The criteria include the absence of active support for the war in Ukraine, no contract with the Russian or Belarusian military or with any other national security agency, and compliance with all FEI Rules and Regulations, including the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes and FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations.

They also specify that any form of verbal, non-verbal or written expression, explicit or implicit, at any time since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, in particular public statements, including those made in social media, participation in pro-war demonstrations or events, and the wearing of any symbol in support of the war in Ukraine, for example the “Z” symbol, are considered to be acts of active support for the war in Ukraine and will prevent individuals from participating at FEI Events.


In order to be granted Neutral Individual Athlete, Neutral Individual Support Personnel and Neutral Individual Official status, the respective parties must apply to the FEI Headquarters. They must complete and sign a Declaration Form certifying full acceptance and compliance with the FEI Criteria for the participation of Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials in FEI Events.

Once issued with the Neutral status, athletes and support personnel will only be entitled to take part in individual competitions and will not be authorised to participate in any FEI team competitions.

The Neutral Individual Athletes, Neutral Individual Support Personnel, and Neutral Officials will not be entitled to compete or attend as representatives of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, their National Federations or National Olympic Committees. Flags, emblems, and identifiers will not be displayed at any FEI event venue.

The national anthems of Russia and Belarus will not be played or sung at any time during FEI competitions in any competition venue.


The signed declarations may be submitted to the FEI as of January 15, 2024 for participation in FEI Events as of February 1, 2024. The forms will be reviewed and approved within 30 days upon receipt.

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

On December 8, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that Individual Neutral Athletes who have qualified through the existing qualification systems of the International Federations on the field of play will be declared eligible to compete at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in accordance with the conditions set out by the IOC.

According to the Olympic Qualification Systems for Equestrian, individual qualification is secured through the FEI Olympic Rankings for Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing, which cover the period from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. Since Russian and Belarusian athletes have not competed in FEI events since March 2, 2022, no representatives of these nations will take part in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had taken a decision similar to the IOC in September, however, similarly to the Olympic Games, with the qualifying events being in 2023, and Russian and Belarusian athletes not having competed in FEI Events since March 2, 2022, no ranking points could be earned, and hence no individual qualification slots could be allocated.

Sanctions remain in place

In keeping with the IOC statement of 25 February 2022 urging International Sports Federations to relocate or cancel their sports events, the measures prohibiting FEI events from being held in Russia and Belarus remain in place. No FEI events organised in Russia and Belarus can be entered in the FEI Calendar for 2024. No officials’ courses as well as any other FEI activities will be held in Russia and Belarus for the time being and all FEI Solidarity projects in Russia and Belarus remain frozen.

“The Board approved the strict criteria for the return of Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Support Personnel and Officials to FEI Events with a Neutral status further to its decision taken last month to lift the protective measures put in place shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The original protective measures were introduced further to the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee, however, it was acknowledged that they may no longer fulfil a protective role and, therefore, had to be reconsidered.

“Whereas the procedure we defined on 14 December 2023 is paving the way for the return of Russian and Belarusian Athletes, FEI registered Support Personnel and Officials to international equestrian sport, difficult times lie ahead.”

“The war in Ukraine is still raging and the people of Ukraine continue to suffer. I would like to reiterate FEI’s unwavering support to the Ukrainian equestrian community through the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund.”