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London Olympics 2012: Saudi Judo Athlete Wojdan Shaherkani Banned From Wearing Hijab

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A Saudi Olympic athlete has been banned from wearing the hijab when she competes in the Judo competition next week.

The International Judo Federation ruled on Thursday that Wojdan Shaherkani would not be able to wear the traditional Muslim headscarf as it would be dangerous in a sport involving throws and strangleholds.

Talks between Olympic and Saudi officials have been held in an attempt to resolve the dispute which, according to the Telegraph, could lead to the the Saudi Team withdrawing their entire team from the Games.

saudi judo

Wojdan Shaherkani has been banned from wearing the hijab when she competes

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reportedly scheduled an emergency meeting with Saudi Olympic officials in an attempt to prevent the crisis.

Wujdan Shahrkhani is one of only two female athletes representing Saudi Arabia, the other being Sarah Attar who will run in the 800 metres.

Until a few weeks ago Saudi Arabia had insisted that it would not allow females to compete, the only participating nation to do so.

A sustained campaign by IOC president Jacques Rogge to change the situation led to the announcement that the two female athletes would be allowed to compete but only if they were allowed to wear traditional Muslim clothing.

An IOC spokesperson told Telegraph Sport: "Yes we have heard that the Saudis are not happy and we will have an urgent meeting, certainly in the next two days."

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