IWF changes rules on attire for US Muslim athlete

IWF changes rules on attire for US Muslim athlete

Kulsoom Abdullah was barred from entering higher-level US competitions because her Muslim faith requires that she covers her arms, legs and head violating international rules governing weightlifting attire.

USA Weightlifting took her case to the International Weightlifting Federation, which agreed to change the rules after its technical committee reviewed the proposal.

"The modified rule changes permits athletes to wear a one-piece, full-body, tight-fitted 'unitard' under the compulsory weightlifting costume," IWF vice president Sam Coffa said.

"The 'unitard' will enable technical officials to effectively adjudicate areas of the body which are essential to the correct execution of the lift."

The old rules didn't allow suits that covered either the knees or elbows because judges had to be able to see that both have been locked out to complete a lift.

Abdullah said a tight-fitting shirt would allow judges to have a good view of her elbows. She also said she'd be willing to wear a leg covering that conforms to her religion but allows judges to determine whether she's completed a lift. The new clothing modifications go into effect immediately. The U.S. championships will be held next month in Iowa.

"This rule modification has been considered in the spirit of fairness, equality and inclusion," IWF President Tamas Ajan said.

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