RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- A Saudi Arabian newspaper says Crown Prince Nayef has approved plans for the ultra conservative Muslim country to send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time at the London Games.

The Saudi-owned and London-based Al-Hayat newspaper says Nayef, who is heir to the aging king, has approved the participation of women at the London Olympics in sports that "meet the standards of women's decency and don't contradict Islamic laws."

Saudi sports officials could not be reached to confirm Tuesday's report in the Arabic-language newspaper.

The IOC said Monday that progress has been made in talks with Saudi Olympic officials on sending female athletes and officials to the games.

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