Saudi female judoka not allowed to wear headscarf

Published:

 

LONDON (AP) -- International judo officials say a Saudi female competitor -- one of the country's first two Olympian women -- will not be allowed to wear a headscarf during her fights.

At a press conference on Thursday, Marius Vizer, president of the International Judo Federation, said Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani will compete without a hijab.

Vizer said the federation ruled she should fight "according to the principles and spirit of judo."

Saudi leaders had previously agreed to send women to the Olympics on the condition they be allowed to wear headscarves.

Judo officials also said there were "security" concerns, since judo includes strangleholds and chokeholds, which could be complicated by a headscarf.