Wimbledon 'abuse' as all-white kit rule leaves women bra-less
Former champion rounds on officials after clampdown on kit has unexpected consequences
Wimbledon's strict all-white dress code has forced some female competitors to go without bras at this year's tournament, it has been claimed.
Officials at the All-England club have launched a clampdown this year to prevent too much colour creeping into players' kits and keep sponsorship to a minimum, but the get-tough policy has not gone down well with some.
Former champion Pat Cash has been forced to pull out of the veterans' competition because the specialist shoes he wears to prevent injury do not pass muster.
He said that female players had been affected as well. "Some of the girls have been told to go back and change their bras and tops because they had slight colour on them," he told the BBC. "I believe some of the girls didn't have suitable sports bras and had to go without them. It has absolutely gone ridiculous."
He called the rules "archaic" and claimed a male player had been summoned to the referee's office because he had been wearing blue underwear "that showed through when he got sweaty".
However, the players were warned about the zero-tolerance policy before the tournament began, says the Daily Mirror. "In the letter, players were told caps, headbands, bandanas, wristbands and socks must be totally white except for a single trim of colour no wider than one centimetre. Shoes must be almost entirely white, including the soles, players were informed."
The regulations even stretch to underwear, says the paper, with players informed that "undergarments that either are or can be visible during play" must also be white. "Common standards of decency are required at all times," added the letter.
The Daily Mail notes that the Wimbledon definition of white "does not include off-white or cream".
But news that female competitors have had to go without bras has upset some. "It is somewhat ironic that only days after a new study proved that women are being put off doing sport because of their breasts, we learn female Wimbledon players may have had to do away with their bras," says Emma Barnett, the Daily Telegraph women's editor. She adds that preventing players from wearing support was "tantamount to physical abuse".