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Norway's team lines up during 2018 Women's Beach Handball World Cup final against Greece on July 29, 2018. Photo: Ilnar Tukhbatov/Epsilon/Getty Images

Norway's women's beach handball team was fined by the European Handball Federation on Monday after wearing shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms during a match, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The International Handball Federation requires women to wear bikini bottoms that are no longer than four inches on the sides, per the Times. Men can wear shorts as long as four inches above their knees as long as they are "not too baggy."

  • A spokeswoman for the International Handball Federation, Jessica Rockstroh, said on Tuesday that she is "looking into [the reason for rules] internally,” per the Times.

Driving the news: Norway's team had been planning to go against the rules for weeks to highlight the double standard for women athletes.

  • "I don’t see why we can’t play in shorts,” said Norwegian player Martine Welfler. "With so much body shaming and stuff like that these days, you should be able to wear a little bit more when you play."
  • Each Norwegian player was fined 150 euros for a total fine of €1,500.
  • Rockstroh said that the organization had not received official complaints previously. "Globally we know that other countries like to play in bikinis, for example, especially in South America," she said.

Of note: Olivia Breen, a double Paralympic world champion for the U.K., said that a sporting official called her racing briefs "too short and inappropriate" at a recent competition, according to the Washington Post.

  • Breen, who filed an official complaint over the official's remarks, said she had been wearing the same style of shorts for almost a decade.

Go deeper

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 5 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

Mitch McConnell's remarks on Black voters raise ire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Capitol Hill news conference earlier this year. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been widely criticized for comments he made this week about Black American voters.

Driving the news: When asked by a reporter Wednesday about concerns among voters of color, McConnell said "the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, Black American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."

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