OLY:IOC to keep pressure on 'no women' Saudis
(Eds: Amends to `women’ in headline)
MOSCOW, April 15 AFP – International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge said on Sunday he will keep up the pressure on Saudi Arabia, who have once again refused to send a women’s team to the Olympic Games.
“We are always talking to Saudi Arabia (about sending a women’s team to the London Games) and we expect a very rapid conclusion,” said Rogge.
Ten days ago, the head of the Saudi Olympic Committee ruled out sending women athletes from the ultra-conservative kingdom to the London Olympics.
Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, however, that Saudi women taking part independently are free to do so and the kingdom’s Olympic authority would “only help in ensuring that their participation does not violate the Islamic sharia law”.
Equestrian jumping contestant Dalma Malhas, 18, is likely to be Saudi Arabia’s only female athlete at this summer’s Olympics.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei are the only three countries never to have sent women athletes to the Olympics.
But Qatar, which is hoping to stage the 2020 Games, has said it will send three to London— shooter Bahia Al-Hamad, swimmer Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji and Noor Al-Malki, a 100m and 200m sprinter.
16 Apr 10:07 AM