INCHEON, South Korea, Sept 20, 2014 (AFP) - Olympic chief Thomas Bach said Saturday he wants to see an even split of female to male athletes at international sporting events after Saudi Arabia brought no women to the Asian Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president told reporters that the world body was hopeful they could increase the number of women athletes competing in the Olympics.
"The attitude of the IOC is very clear," Bach said. "We encourage very much women's participation in the Olympic Games and we try to help in every respect.
"But in the Olympic Games we have participation at almost 46 percent of women. We hope that one day we can make it 50-50."
His comments on the sidelines of an Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) general assembly meeting came following Saudi Arabia's decision to put forward a men-only squad for the 17th Asian Games.
The Arab state took two women to the 2012 Olympics in London -- 800m runner Sarah Attar and judoka Wodjan Shahrkani -- after lifting a ban on women competing in the Games.
But no female athletes were included in its squad of 202 for the multi-sports event in South Korea, which officially opened in Incheon on Friday.
Human Rights Watch accused the kingdom of a "a backward step for women's participation in sport".
OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said he believed the country had not changed its policy since London and was hopeful Saudi women would appear in future Asiad.