The IOC is optimistic about ongoing talks with Saudi Arabia on sending women to the Olympics despite reports the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom reversed its pledge to send female athletes to the London Games.

The International Olympic Committee says in a statement Wednesday that it remains "confident of a positive outcome."

Saudi leaders have been under pressure to end the practice of sending all-male teams to international competitions. A report in a Saudi-owned newspaper this week said no female athletes have qualified for the Olympics and no women will be included on the team that will compete in equestrian, athletics and weightlifting.

Human Rights Watch cited the announcement in the pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat in urging the IOC to bar the country for violating the equality rules in the Olympic Charter.