Olympic Equestrian’s Future at 2024 Paris Games in Doubt After Wearing a Borat-like “Mankini”

Shane Rose, an acclaimed Australian equestrian and three-time Olympic medalist, finds himself in a precarious situation that could potentially affect his participation in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

The cause of the stir? Rose’s choice of attire at a recent equestrian event has sparked a significant controversy, leading to his current stand-down from competition pending a formal review by Equestrian Australia and Sports Integrity Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

During the Wallaby Hill Extravaganza, a showjumping event celebrated for its festive atmosphere, Rose opted to wear a “mankini” reminiscent of the one made famous by the character Borat, portrayed by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the New York Post reported.

The outfit choice, intended for a fancy dress segment of the competition, was further highlighted by Rose on social media, where he posted a picture of himself in the controversial attire.

“Beer – Gorilla – Mankini. Wallaby Hill was definitely treated to the best of Ringa today. Thank you to everyone involved in running the event, so much fun,” the 50-year-old athlete wrote on Instagram.

“I took part in this fancy dress competition with the aim of providing light-hearted entertainment for those in attendance. If my costume/s offended anyone I am truly sorry as this was never my intention. I would like to apologise to anyone that I offended,” Shane Rose wrote on Facebook.

In a subsequent post, he wrote, “Thank you for the support. It is not my intention to have this issue escalated any more so my previous post has been removed.”

The reaction to Rose’s outfit was swift, with Darren Gocher, the chief executive of Equestrian Australia, confirming that the governing body received complaints regarding the appropriateness of Rose’s attire, especially in the presence of minors. This incident has prompted a review by both Equestrian Australia and Sports Integrity Australia.

Equestrian Australia released the following statement:

Concerns were raised to Equestrian Australia and the Government sporting agencies regarding Shane Rose’s attire at a recent closed event at Wallaby Hill, images of which were subsequently shared on social media. As with any high performance athlete, Shane is bound by the High Performance and Equestrian Australia Codes of Conduct and Athlete Agreement. Equestrian Australia has an obligation to address these concerns and is currently reviewing the matter.

To be clear, Shane has not been suspended or sanctioned. As is usual in these circumstances for all high performance athletes, he has been stood down from competition for several days while the review is carried out. This does not affect his ability to train or otherwise participate in the sport. Equestrian Australia has also encouraged Shane to provide an account of the events if he wishes to do so. This process should take no more than a matter of days and we expect a resolution in the coming week.

Equestrian Australia is dedicated to supporting our athletes in their Olympic campaign and works collaboratively with them to achieve their Olympic dreams.

Despite not being formally sanctioned or suspended, Rose’s eligibility for upcoming competitions, including the highly anticipated Paris Olympics, hangs in the balance as the review process unfolds.

Supporters have taken to social media to stand in solidarity with the three-time Olympic medalist.

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