IOC to Countries: Stop Excluding Women

No-needle policy also adopted


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Qatar, Brunei, and Saudi Arabia have never sent female athletes to the Olympics, but that could soon change. In a report this week, Anita DeFrantz, head of the IOC’s women and sport commission, urged the three Middle Eastern holdouts to add women to their squads for the 2012 London Games. DeFrantz, who has previously called for countries with men-only policies to be banned from the Olympics, also identified 10 major sports federations, including FIFA, that do not have any women in their governing boards. “It’s disturbing that we have fewer women than ever serving on executive boards of sports,” she said. The IOC, which is currently meeting in Durban, South Africa, also announced this week that it would prohibit athletes from possessing hypodermic needles and other potential doping paraphernalia without medical permission. The move brings the IOC in line with the international cycling, rowing, and gymnastics federations, which have all adopted no-needle policies.

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