Saudi Arabian female athletes are to be allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time.
The country has made a U-turn on its policy following speculation over whether the country's exclusively male team would be disqualified for gender discrimination.
A Saudi Embassy statement confirmed its Olympic committee would now "oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify".
The decision, supported by Saudi ruler King Abdullah, was taken earlier this month but an announcement was reportedly delayed due to the death of Crown Prince Nayef, the heir to the throne.
Saudi Arabian showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas, 18, looks to be the only likely qualifier for London 2012.
Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said he had no power to intervene if Saudi Arabia blocked female athletes from competing in London.
In April, he said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was "working on the issue" to "try to find a way so that some Saudi women are able to compete".
He added: "You are always balancing the conservative elements in Saudi Arabia against those who want to reach out.
"But of course I would very much like to see Saudi women competing in London."
The decision will be the first time in the country's history where women have been allowed to compete in sport.
Women's participation in sport has long been met with opposition in the kingdom.
A senior Saudi official told reporters: "It's very sensitive. King Abdullah is trying to initiate reform in a subtle way, by finding the right balance between going too fast or too slow.
"For example, he allowed the participation of women in the Shura council so the Olympic decision is part of an ongoing process, it's not isolated."
As well as Ms Malhas, other females may be able to compete. If selected, their outfits would most likely comprise loose-fitting garments and a "sports hijab", a scarf covering the hair but not the face.
Qatar and Brunei join Saudi in their histories of only sending men to the Olympics. Qatar, however, has already announced it will send a three-woman team to London.