05/03/2004 11:00PM

Stevens flag dispute seen as over

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After a conversation Monday with the president of French racing's ruling body, Gary Stevens has agreed to stop wearing decals of the French and American flags on his riding breeches. According to a report in The Racing Post, Stevens threatened Sunday to leave France after being told by Longchamp officials to remove the decals, which he had been wearing on his breeches since arriving in France on March 29 to ride for trainer Andre Fabre.

The French daily Paris-Turf reported Monday that Edouard de Rothschild, president of France-Galop, spoke with Stevens on the telephone and explained that French racing rules prohibit any form of publicity on jockeys' apparel.

Rothschild apologized to Stevens for the manner in which a France-Galop official informed Stevens that he could not wear the flag emblems during racing at Longchamp on Sunday.