It's a cover up: Olympic beach volleyball players to be allowed to wear more clothes
Beach volleyball, a sport with minimal following in Britain, was one of the most sought after events when tickets went on sale for this summer's Olympics.
Since its induction as an Olympic medal event in 1996, the bikinis worn by female competitors have helped define and raise the profile of the sport.
Cynics might suggest that the demand for tickets has been driven as much by the appeal of watching bikini clad competitors as it has been a desire to see world class volleyball in London.
But those heading to Horse Guards Parade this summer hoping to see semi-naked players competing in the sand near Buckingham Palace may find themselves disappointed after the sport's governing body ruled that female players will have the option to wear less revealing outfits.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has said it will allow shorts and sleeved tops at the 2012 Games, along with the traditional bikinis and body suits already permitted.
"Many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements so the uniform needed to be more flexible." FIVB spokesman Richard Baker told The Associated Press.
The less revealing outfits were already permitted for the the five Continental Cups, through which 142 nations are competing to qualify for the London Games.
"Winners of the Continental Cups will qualify for the Olympics, so it has to be applied," said Baker.
The modified rule permits "shorts of a maximum length of three centimeters (1.18 inches) above the knee, and sleeved or sleeveless tops."
The FIVB insists competitors have always had a choice what to wear. "They weren't forced to wear a bikini," Baker said.
World Beard and Moustache Championships held last week
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
EXCLUSIVE: F1 heading for eastern revolution as new team emerges from Romania
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
Shrewsbury vs Chelsea player ratings: Mohamed Salah? Oscar? Didier Drogba? Who was the star?
Capital One Cup fifth-round draw: Chelsea meet Derby, Tottenham face Newcastle, Liverpool travel to Bournemouth
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Number of global billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis
- 4 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 5 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism