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IOC In Discussions With Saudi Arabia On Women's Participation

IOC In Discussions With Saudi Arabia On Women's Participation

Will there be women from Saudi Arabia competing at the London Olympic games? Not likely. The International Olympic Committee was reportedly still in discussions with kingdom officials on the issue of sending women to the 2012 games.

Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee, said told press Sunday he was still discussing with Saudi officials whether such an arrangement could be made.

Rogge also said at the Sunday news conference the head of Syria's Olympic committee has been invited to London for the Games, but that it would be up to Britain to decide whether to admit him.

Rogge's comments came 10 days after a Saudi newspaper known as Al-Watan reported the National Olympic Committee President Prince Nawaf does "not approve" of sending female athletes.

"We're still discussing [this] with our colleague on the Saudi national Olympic committee. This is an ongoing discussion but it is a bit too soon to come to conclusions," Rogge said.

Furthermore, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah "underlined the importance of independence of national Olympic committees and to be protected from government intervention," Kuwait News Agency said. The Sheikh also said the ANOC supports IOC's policies and objectives, while noting the importance of education and culture to the development of the Olympic movement.

Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron said officials of President Bashar Assad Syrian regime would not be attending the London games as their names have been placed on a European Union travel-ban list.

Rogge was said to be in Moscow for a meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

by RTT Staff Writer

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