No hijab in judo
Wojdan Shaherkani, the judoka from Saudi Arabia who is one of the first women to represent her country in the Olympics, has been ordered not to wear the hijab, or head scarf, during competition. The International Judo Federation (IJF) said she will compete without a head covering.
"The Saudi Arabian athlete will take part in judo and she will fight according to the principle and spirit of judo, so without a hijab," said IJF president Marius Vizer following Thursday's draw.
Any head covering in judo is considered a safety risk. Judo players, or judokas, toss their opponents. Quite often the gi, the judo uniform that is used for other martial arts, is used to grab opponents. The gi is made of a heavy weave cotton, and it is easier to hold onto than the light, slippery fabrics normally used to make hijabs.
It's not much of a leap to think Shaherkani could be injured if an opponent grabbed her hijab instead of her gi. Even in a different fabric, it could cause injuries as her head and neck would be vulnerable to a throw, instead of just her body.