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Just for men: Saudi Arabia wants to host a male-only Olympics

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Saudi Arabia proposed hosting a male-only Olympics in a joint bid that would have seen neighbouring country Bahrain hosting the women's events.

Prince Fahad bin Jalawi al-Saud, an international relations consultant to the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, proposed the gender-segregated games in an interview with the French sports website Francs Jeux.

He claimed that under new rules passed in the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform package a joint, segregated bid between the two nations would be allowed.

But the suggestion was quickly shot down by the IOC, whose president, Thomas Bach, said in a statement:

A commitment to 'non-discrimination' will be mandatory for all countries hoping to bid for the Olympics in the future. This was made very clear in the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms and will even be in the host city contract.

If this is not applied, the bid would not be admissible. Countries like Saudi Arabia must really work to allow female athletes to 'freely participate'.

Saudi Arabian women were allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time in 2012, Judoka Wojdan Shahrkhani and 800m runner Sarah Attar (above), although a male-only team was sent to last year's Asian games in Incheon, South Korea.


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