World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia's female judo competitor will fight at the London Olympics "without a hijab", or headscarf, the sport's chief said on Thursday.
Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, one of the first two female athletes sent to the Olympics by the conservative Muslim kingdom, is due to compete in the women's heavyweight tournament next Friday.
She will fight "according to the principle and spirit of judo", so without a hijab, International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said.
The decision is likely to cause controversy in Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi official had told Reuters earlier this month they expected that the women would have to obey the dress code of Islamic law. He did not elaborate, but other conservative Muslim countries have interpreted this to mean a headscarf, long sleeves and long pants.
Shaherkani, who will compete in the 78-kg category in judo, and teenage 800 metre runner Sarah Attar were the first Saudi women allowed to take part in the Olympics after talks between the International Olympic Committee and the country.
Saudi Arabia was one of three countries, alongside Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent female athletes to the Olympics but the latter two confirmed earlier this year that their delegations would include women.
The first ever formal meeting is scheduled to be held in March
Arbitration law experts say monetary compensation to Turkey could be passed on to Turkish customers in lower gas bills
'The letter P doesn't exist in Arabic, so the borrowed term Palestine is worth debating' remarks draws mockery of Israeli lawmaker Anat Berko
Delegates from India and Oman have met to strengthen military ties
Iran holds annual celebrations commemorating its 1979 revolution for the first time since nuclear deal was finalized and sanctions lifted
Russia has proposed for a March 1 ceasefire talk as the Assad regime pounds the besieged city
Head of the Labour-led Zionist Union coalition said he still wants a two-state solution, bu does not believe it's achievable in present circumstances
A monitor reports on devastating deadly impact of Assad regime's offensive in the northern province
Russia's ambassador to Damascus shares his estimates on the number of Russian citizens living in Syria
Explosives, suicide belts have been found on suspects at Syria border
According to the Defense Intelligence Chief, the Russian support has given Assad a much better position to negotiate with world powers
Syrians recount how their life has changed under the brutal shelling of strikes in Aleppo
'2015 was by and large a decent year for news on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,' International Institute for Strategic Studies chief says
State-run television says a 'number of citizens' were killed and injured
'The fact that the Guardian Council added over 1,400 to the approved list shows the efficiency of the government's follow-ups and consultations,' interior ministry says
Two separate trials have been opened in UAE against 26 people in total over suspected links to Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah armed groups