18 Sep 2014

Naked ambition? Colombia cyclists in ‘nude’ strip row

Sports reporter

Dressed to impress? Or dressed for pure stress? Colombia’s female cycling team have defended their new “see-through” uniform.

Colombia cycling team

When an athlete or sports team earn huge publicity for something other than their performance and results, it’s time to ask why. Millions are spent making sure athletes are not only primed and prepared to perform on the pitch, but look good doing it.

The latest example of a kit to cause uproar is the one belonging to the female Colombian cycling team. A photo of the team of six cyclists was taken at Giro della Toscana in Tuscany, with the design of the lower waist and crotch area revealed.

“Unacceptable” was the response from the president of the International Cycling Union. “It is unacceptable by any standard of decency.” Social media was equally outraged when the pictures went viral.

But the twist in this story is that the person who designed the kit is one of the team’s riders – a female.

A Colombian journalist rebuffed any suggestion of sexual offence, saying: ”One of the riders appears to have designed it without the intent of making it look as though they were partially nude.

“People in Colombia have tried to protect and stand up for the women who are being made fun of for something that wasn’t intended at all.”

But when you look at the kit closely, where it appears to be a skin-coloured fabric it’s actually gold, leaving some suggesting that the photo circulated has been airbrushed to cause offence.

It comes just weeks after Spanish Division B football team Cultural Leonesa released their new away kit (see image above). A humorous imitation of a black and white tuxedo, it leaves supporters hoping their side are suited and booted for success.

And Napoli’s third kit this season could go down as the worst football kit of all time. The blue denim with yellow trim makes them look more like the former Irish pop band B*Witched – which some may say is actually the bigger crime.