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Skirts optional for women boxers at London Games

MYT 12:05:01 AM

(Reuters) - Women boxers will have the choice of wearing skirts or shorts in the ring at this year's London Olympics, the sport's world governing body said on Sunday.

A spokesman for the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) said the executive committee would vote "in the next few days" on the proposed solution to what has become a controversial issue.

Britain's boxer Amanda Coulson puts on her gloves at the Santo Amaro club in Sao Paulo February 9, 2012. The women's boxing team from Great Britain is in Brazil to train with the Brazilian team between January 29 and February 12. REUTERS/Fernando Donasci

AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu of Taiwan told a world conference on women and sport in Los Angeles on Saturday that female fighters would not be forced to wear skirts.

"Some women want to wear shorts and some want to wear skirts," he said. "So the decision we have made is that we shall make it optional because many boxers are undecided."

Women's boxing is making its Olympic debut at the London Games in July and August with three gold medals on offer.

Several women boxers have criticised attempts to encourage them to wear skirts for what seemed to be purely aesthetic reasons. The women were offered skirts for the first time at the 2010 world championships in Barbados.

Romanian and Polish women boxers wore skirts at the European championships in Romania in 2010, with the Poles making them compulsory.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by...)

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