British Paralympian Olivia Breen says she was left “angry” and “speechless” after being told to wear “more appropriate” briefs to compete at the English Championships.
The 24-year-old was competing in the long jump in Bedford when the remark was made by a female official.
Breen, who has cerebral palsy and will represent Britain at the Tokyo Paralympics next month, was told her briefs were "too short and revealing".
Paralympics
'We are sick of being second best' - Weir demands authorities do more for para-sport
06/09/2021 AT 22:57
"It made me feel really angry and it's very wrong," said Breen, who won gold at the 2015 World Championships in the T35-38 4x100m class and also in 2017 in the T38 long jump.
"You know they can't comment on what we can and can't wear."
Breen also told the BBC that she has been wearing the same style of briefs for nine years.
"They are like high-waisted bikini bottoms…I've never had a problem and we should feel comfortable with what we wear.
"We want to be as light as possible when we're competing, not having to feel heavy, and to feel comfortable. We should just wear what we're entitled to wear.”
Breen, who won bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics, added: "I'd just finished my competition and was thanking the officials for their help and their support and this official came up to me and said 'can I talk to you?' and I was like yeah, what's the problem?
"She said 'I think what you're wearing is very revealing and I think you should consider buying shorts'. I didn't know what to say, I was left speechless and my first thought process was 'are you joking?'.”
Breen told The Guardian that she planned to file an official complaint with UK Athletics and said she questioned “whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised”.
"I've never personally felt self-conscious, but yesterday made me feel very angry and obviously from the response on Instagram and Twitter that I've had, it has happened to a lot of young girls and athletes and it needs to change.
"I think people haven't spoken out about it because they feel afraid and I want people to feel confident and speak out about it because it's wrong what happened and this needs to stop happening to us.
"I'm just going to take it as far as I can. I really want to get the message out there and I obviously want to make a change in female sport so people can't make comments again about what we can and can't wear."
Paralympics
ParalympicsGB finsh second in Tokyo medal table
05/09/2021 AT 09:01
Paralympics
Golds for Miller, Broom-Edwards, Wiggs as GB pass 100 medals
03/09/2021 AT 15:18