In Olympic wrestling, competitors wear a one-piece singlet, which must adhere to the body, covering it from mid-thigh. Traditionally, the singlet had to be the color assigned to that wrestler for that match. The uniform designs will incorporate subtle red and blue markings, which will be used to differentiate competitors for scoring purposes.
Light kneepads are permitted, but ear guards and headgear are forbidden. Male wrestlers must be closely shaved or have a beard of several months' growth. They also must carry handkerchiefs, normally tucked into their jockstraps. This rule dates back to when handkerchiefs were needed to wipe away blood, saliva and nasal discharge, all things now handled by doctors with antiseptic sprays.
It is also forbidden:
- to wear bandages on the wrists, arms or ankles, except in case of an injury or by a doctor's prescription.
- to wear rings, bracelets, earrings, hair slides or prosthesis.
- to arrive on the mat perspiring (the referee checks both wrestlers for moisture at the start of the match and sometimes sends them back to be dried off).
- to apply a greasy or sticky substance to the body.
- to wear under-wired bras (for women).
- to display another's country's emblem or abbreviation.
The wrestling shoe must close firmly around the ankle, and may not have heels, nailed soles, buckles or any metallic parts. Shoelaces must be taped, though shoelaces themselves are optional.