Sponsor row mars Team GB's party

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The Independent Online

The Olympic gold medallists Mark Lewis-Francis and Bradley Wiggins stand to miss next Monday's champions' parade in London because of a dispute over their kit.

The Olympic gold medallists Mark Lewis-Francis and Bradley Wiggins stand to miss next Monday's champions' parade in London because of a dispute over their kit.

The British Olympic Association is insistent that all athletes taking part wear the official tracksuits supplied to them for the Athens Games by adidas. But Nike, personal kit sponsors to Lewis-Francis and Wiggins, want the pair to dress in their own kit.

The contractual rights of adidas ended a week after the Games finished, and a Nike spokesman said yesterday: "We are now continuing with our contracts, and if it is in a sporting context, our athletes must wear Nike."

But the BOA maintain that Monday's occasion, which will enjoy 75 minutes of live coverage on BBC 1, is not a sporting event but a celebration.

Reebok, kit suppliers to the double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes and Lewis-Francis's colleague in the victorious sprint relay team, Darren Campbell, relinquished a similar claim yesterday after discussions with the BOA, announcing that they had "no problem" with the situation.

"Reebok now appear to be comfortable with what we are doing," said BOA spokesman Philip Pope. "We will be working very hard to come to a similar understanding with Nike in the next few days... Mark and Bradley are just caught in the middle of all this."

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