Breen, 24, suffers from cerebral palsy, hearing loss and learning difficulties. She won gold twice at the IPC World Championships – in the T38 long jump in 2017 and the T35-38 100-meter sprint relay in 2015 – and bronze in the 4 × 100-meter relay at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Breen said lightweight briefs – in this case the official Adidas briefs from the 2021 competition, that she later posted a Photo online – gave him an advantage. The socks were in compliance with regulations, she said, adding that she had filed a formal complaint with England Athletics, the organization hosting the competition.
Since the episode’s publication, Breen said she has heard from other female athletes who have had similar experiences and said she believes women have a right to feel comfortable during competition.
“It made me so angry,” Breen said. “We shouldn’t be told what to wear and what we can’t.”
England Athletics said in a statement it would investigate the matter.
“The well-being of all participants in athletics is of the utmost importance, and everyone should feel comfortable competing and participating in the sport,” the statement said.