Leading article: Dressing down

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The Independent Online

Lance Armstrong's Tour de France career has ended on a rather sour note. The seven-times victor wanted his RadioShack team to wear special jerseys for the final stage into Paris to publicise his Livestrong cancer charity. But this move was vetoed by the Tour's officials because the kit had not been previously authorised.

Some have inevitably seen this as an act of petty spite, but we would question whether this was such an unreasonable decision. Armstrong's charity is certainly a laudable cause and one can certainly understand his desire – having suffered from testicular cancer himself – to publicise it. But was this the appropriate forum in which to do so?

Sportsmen increasingly seem to want to make statements or send messages through their attire. It is now fairly common for footballers to rip off their shirts after scoring goals to reveal messages about their friends, their children or faith etc.

Whatever the sentiments, the practice smacks of egotism. Is it such a bad thing for stars to be reminded, from time to time, that they are not more important than the event in which they are participating, or the game they are playing?