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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 17:27 GMT
Gym user upset at cover-up call
A sports enthusiast was told not to wear vests at a council gym because the sight of "big hairy armpits" would upset other users.

Anthony Ward, 41, said he was told by an instructor to wear T-shirts instead of a vest while using gym equipment at Horfield Leisure Centre, Bristol.

Mr Ward, a gym member for two years, vowed to continue wearing vests.

A Bristol City Council spokeswoman said vests were not banned but gym users are being advised not to wear them.

'Completely ridiculous'

The father-of-one from Horfield, Bristol, was undergoing an induction session on some new equipment at the recently-refurbished centre.

"At the start of the session the female instructor said that men should wear T-shirts rather than vests as sweat could cause the equipment to rust.

To me, an armpit is just part of the human body
Anthony Ward

"She also said that the sight of a big hairy armpit would put off other gym users. I thought this was completely ridiculous and challenged her about it at the end of the session.

"There are a lot of men who wear vests in the gym and surely the gym is one of the only places where it is actually required that you sweat.

"To me, an armpit is just part of the human body, I don't think it's fair to have a different policy for men and women."

A Bristol City Council spokeswoman said: "When we were training staff we asked them to advise people to wear T-shirts because sweat can damage the equipment.

"It has never been a rule or policy. If this gentleman has been told he cannot wear vests that is not the case and we apologise."

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