Julia Marino has been forced to withdraw midway through the women's snowboard big air event at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
But it wasn't an unfortunate injury or even a devastating positive Covid test which made her pull out, it was actually a piece of her equipment which lead to a dispute with Winter Olympic officials.
To give some context, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has very strict rules about displaying the personal sponsorships of athletes at the Games.
So when Marino clinched a silver medal earlier in Beijing in the women's slopestyle event while riding a beautiful Prada board, IOC chiefs weren't best pleased.
Prada is not an official IOC sponsor, so during her practise runs the American was reportedly instructed by officials cover the branding on her helmet and board with tape or marker.
But when it came to doing so, the 24-year-old refused, claiming that altering the underside of the board would impact its performance on the snow.
"For everyone asking, the night before the big air, the IOC told me they no longer approved my board even though they approved it for slope," Marino said in an Instagram story.
"They told me I would be disqualified if I didn't cover the logo and obligated me to literally draw on the base of my board with a sharpie.
"For those who don't know, the base of the board is important for your speed and not meant to have anything on it but wax, having marker and other things on the bottom basically defeats the purpose."
She did comply initially, but admitted she felt "unsteady" in practice, ultimately leading to her subsequent withdrawal.
"I dropped into the jump to see how the tailbone felt after taking a slam the other day in practice, and after my base [was] altered, I had no speed for the jump and wasn't able to clear it several times," she wrote on social media.
"Was just feeling pretty physically and mentally drained from this distraction and the slam I took.
"I was super-hyped with how I did in slope, my main event, and decided not to risk further injury even tho [sic] that didn't appear to be the top priority of the IOC."
For Marino and Team USA, they must be absolutely gutted, especially seeing as though she was allowed to use the exact same board earlier in the Games to win a silver medal.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: IOC, Australia, Winter Olympics