The FEI has conducted a full risk assessment of the rapidly evolving Coronavirus Covid-19 situation in line with the recommendations of the relevant health authorities in order to evaluate whether the health and safety of delegates at next month’s FEI Sports Forum can be assured.
The FEI Sports Forum involves a gathering of multiple persons travelling from all over the globe and, while delegates may be healthy on departure from their country of origin, they are at risk of in-transmit contamination. Additionally, if there were to be a confirmed case of the virus during the Sports Forum, there is insufficient infrastructure and resources to quarantine all participants.
As a result of this assessment, it is absolutely clear that there are too many risks associated with hosting the Sports Forum this year and, regrettably, the FEI has had to make the decision to cancel the in-person event and host the time-sensitive sessions online.
Pre-paid registration fees will of course be refunded and the FEI will cover the costs of cancelling all hotel bookings. However, participants will be responsible for the cancellation of their flights and any associated costs.
Maintaining the full consultation process is important to us, so we will organise an online FEI Anti-Doping Rules session, including an update on the new WADA Code and on the proposed changes to the Equine Anti-Doping Rules. Supporting documents will be provided and a detailed Q&A document will also be available on the FEI website. Online delegates will be given the opportunity to provide questions in advance and feedback afterwards.
The full session on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games will also be hosted online, with detailed updates on final venue preparations and logistics, horse transportation, and optimising performance in challenging climatic conditions for both horses and humans. Q&A documents on the Tokyo 2020 session will be made available online. Full information on the online consultation process will be provided shortly.
Other important topics that were initially included in the Sports Forum: events requirements and standards, status of grooms and coaching will be addressed at a later stage.
The FEI will provide National Federations and stakeholders with an updated advisory, including key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of the current Covid-19 outbreak, at the beginning of next week.