The international boxing association says it has approved new uniforms for female boxers to wear for religious reasons.
AIBA says “hijabs and full body form-fitting uniforms” have been designed “that do not compromise the competition and therefore the health of the boxers.”
Previously, the boxing association objected to the material of hijab head coverings “which was not designed to fit the body and had potential to come off and interfere in the competition.”
AIBA says the rule change highlights its “commitment to gender equity and religious tolerance.”
“I am proud, as a muslim-female boxer, to see the positive changes the International Boxing Association is doing for the best interest of its athletes,” Zeina Nassar, a German boxer who wears a hijab, said in a Monday statement.
“Boxing embraces diversity and I am appreciative to see the continuous evolution of the sport,” Nassar continued. “I also appreciate AIBA’s recognition of religious differences and to have had the insight to make this accommodation.”
AIBA is currently under scrutiny by the International Olympic Committee, which halted formal planning for men’s and women’s boxing tournaments at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The IOC’s main issue is with AIBA president Gafur Rakhimov, who is on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list.
HuffPost contributed to this report.