FACTBOX-Olympics-A brief guide to sporting kit controversies

SOCHI, Russia Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:49pm GMT

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SOCHI, Russia Feb 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. speed skating team want to ditch the Under Armour Olympic outfits that media reports have linked to a dismal showing at the Sochi Games, reverting to apparel worn during recent World Cup events.

Kit has played a part in sporting success and failure down the years, as well as being responsible for a series of fashion faux pas. The following are a few examples.

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2012 - English premier league club Cardiff City - the Bluebirds - incurred the wrath of their fans when they switched kit from blue to red as part of a "major and significant" investment pledge from Cardiff's Malaysian owners.

The owners believed the change of colour would expand the club's appeal in "international markets", but alienated die-hard local supporters.

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2012 - Women beach volleyball players at the London Games are allowed to cover up by wearing shorts with tops or a full body suit, rather than skimpy bikinis. The bikinis remain an option, to the delight of television executives.

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2010 - Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin tone down their aboriginal-themed costumes at the Olympics in Vancouver after being accused of "cultural theft" when they wore them before the Games.

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2009 - Swimming's governing body says to revert to textile suits after swimmers wearing high-tech all-polyurethane costumes smash a series of world records, raising concerns about the credibility of the sport.

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2002 - Cameroon soccer team win African Cup of Nations in new sleeveless shirts that look more like basketball vests. FIFA promptly bans the shirts.

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2000 - Australian Cathy Freeman storms to gold in the 400 metres in Sydney, running in futuristic full bodysuit.

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1996 - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson orders his team to change out of their grey away shirts at halftime when 3-0 down to Southampton, saying the players struggled to see each other.

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1991 - Tennis showman Andre Agassi returns to Wimbledon courts after self-imposed exile because he did not approve of the all-white kit rules and the grass surface. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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