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Women can wear shorts at Olympic beach volleyball

    United States' Misty May-Treanor lunges for the ball during a beach volleyball match against Cuba's Tamara Larrea and Dalixia Fernandez at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. USA won 21-15, 21-16. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland >> Female beach volleyball players will have the option of wearing less revealing uniforms at the London Olympics in an attempt by the sport’s governing body to respect the cultural beliefs of various countries.

The International Volleyball Federation says it will allow shorts and sleeved tops at the Olympics, in addition to bikinis and body suits.

The rule already applied to Continental Cup qualifiers for the Olympics involving 142 nations.

Federation spokesman Richard Baker tells The Associated Press that "many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible."

The modified rule permits "shorts of a maximum length of (1.18 inches) above the knee, and sleeved or sleeveless tops."

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