Mark Dawson: Officials forced to wear change
In life, they say it's not what you know ... it's who you know.
In sport, it's not what you know, it's what you wear.
Not so long ago, banned burquas got a Muslim women's soccer team kicked out of competition and now an American weightlifter has had to go to the sport's world governing body and force a rule change after being barred from the US championships because of her attire. Kulsoom Abdullah's Muslim faith requires her to cover her arms, legs and head, violating international rules for weightlifters.
The new rule will allow her to wear a "one-piece, full-body, tight-fitted 'unitard"' - which sounds like a great marketing opportunity.
Apparently in the old clean-and-jerk, judges have to see the knees and elbows locked out to award a bona fide lift. Ms Abdullah says the new one-piece will give judges a good view of her elbows.
Less good news for Orthodox Jew and Israeli basketball player Naama Shafir who wears a T-shirt under her team top - for reasons of religious modesty, naturally. European basketball authorities have insisted all players must wear exactly the same gear, as per the rules.
In other fashion news, badminton's bosses have got their knickers in a twist after plans to make women players wear skirts or dresses were given a general down-trou amid accusations of "sexism".
Things are much simpler back home. The All Blacks unveiled their "revolutionary" new World Cup jersey by keeping it hidden. The new shirts won't be revealed until the Tri-Nations game against South Africa on July 30 but at last week's launch popular style guru Jimmy Cowan reckoned it would give them a mental edge. So that's all right then.
The big question is: Will its new enhanced black colour be a match for the latest French strip which cunningly boasts two tones of blue that featured on the shirts in the World Cup wins over New Zealand in 1999 and 2007. Sacre bleu!
War of words beats ring action
So the war of words outside the ring proved more exciting than anything that went on inside it when Vladimir Klitschko beat David Haye in the world heavyweight title fight. The verbal violence at least had entertainment value as far as who could fire off the cheapest and nastiest insults. Trash-talker Haye came out with "Bitchko", "a fraud" and "a robot" and was ahead on points on the judges' scorecards.
But, of course, then he stubbed his toe ... and hobbled to defeat. It's a lame excuse and one wonders how much we would have heard about the "Toe" had Haye actually won the fight.
Still, he wants a re-match and he's calling Klitschko "Vladimir" now, so that's all good.
The pre-bout bad-mouthing reminded me of Muhammad Ali, whose tongue was as fast as his hands, and who would tear the likes of Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton to pieces with mere words.
But, of course, those people were real fighters and were actually worth seeing.
Walk just proves guilt
Latest on the football Mafia that is Fifa ...
Caribbean soccer boss and Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has resigned rather than face an ethics committee probe.
Fifa has now bestowed on him "the presumption of innocence", though just how much innocence can be presumed for a man censured for World Cup ticket scams and linked to brown envelopes each stuffed with $40,000 and allegedly handed out as Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam made his election pitch for votes to unseat Fifa boss "Slippery" Sepp Blatter, is open to question.Finally, former Fifa president Joao Havelange, the man who showed "Slippery" Sepp how to get business done, is now on the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is investigating corruption allegations.