Paralympian 'speechless' after her briefs are called 'too short & inappropriate'

British Paralympian Olivia Breen was left ‘speechless’ after being told her sprint briefs were ‘too short and inappropriate’.

Double Paralympic world champion Breen was competing in a long jump event at the English Championships at the weekend when a volunteer raised concerns about her attire.

The Welsh star, who has cerebral palsy, questioned whether a male athlete would face similar questions in a social media post.

‘I am always very grateful for the incredible volunteers who officiate at athletics events,’ said Breen, who will represent Team GB at the Tokyo Paralympics next month.

‘They do an amazing job and make it possible for us to compete. However, tonight I feel quite disappointed because just as I finished my long jump competition at the English Championships, one of the female officials felt it necessary to inform me that my sprint briefs were too short and inappropriate.

‘I was left speechless. I have been wearing the same sprint style briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in.

‘I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised. I hope no other female athletes had similar issues.

‘I recognise that there needs to be regulations and guidelines in relation to competition kit but women should not be made to feel self-conscious about what they are wearing when competing but should feel comfortable and at ease.’

Addressing the incident, an England Athletics spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of the post and will be investigating as a matter of urgency.

‘The well-being of all participants in athletics is of the utmost importance and everyone should feel comfortable to compete and participate in the sport.’

British shot putter Amelia Strickler also weighed in on the incident and insisted officials who make ‘unnecessary’ comments should not officiate.

The 27-year-old said: ‘Female athletes shouldn’t be subjected to such criticism when there is already so much pressure on women to be “perfect”.

‘We are there to compete. You don’t like the outfits? Don’t officiate. We don’t need officials adding unnecessary stress in those moments.’

Breen, 24, won world gold in the T35-38 4x100m in 2015 and then the T38 long jump two years later.

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