Paralympic Olivia Breen expressed her dismay on Sunday after she said a female official at the English Championships told her her sprint panties were “too short and inappropriate.”
Breen, who hopes to represent Britain in Tokyo at next month’s Paralympic Games, revealed in a statement on Twitter.
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“I’m always grateful to the incredible volunteers who hold athletic events. They do an amazing job and allow us to compete,” Breen started.
“But tonight I feel quite disappointed, because just as I was finishing my long jump competition at the English Championships, one of the female officials felt the need to inform me that my sprint panties were too short and inappropriate.”
Breen said she was left “speechless” by the remark, saying she had worn the same type of shorts for years and is “specifically designed to compete in.”
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“I hope I want them in Tokyo. It made me ask if a male competitor would be criticized in the same way. I hope no other female athlete had similar problems. I recognize that there should be rules and guidelines compared to competition sets, but women should not be made self-conscious about what they are wearing when competing, but should be comfortable. “
Breen, who has cerebral palsy, told The Guardian that her shorts are the official Adidas panties.
England Athletics told the paper that they were investigating the issue.
“We are aware of the post and will examine it as an urgent matter. All participants in athletics are very important and everyone should enjoy competing and participating in the sport,” said England Athletics.
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The 24-year-old represented Great Britain at the London Games 2012. She won bronze in the 4x100m relay. Since then, she has won gold medals at the 2015 and 2017 World Cups and the 2016 European Championships. While representing Wales, she won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.