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'I literally don’t know another female track-and-field athlete who hasn’t had an abortion'

Sanya Richards-Ross makes the revelation in a new book.

Sanya Richards-Ross.
Sanya Richards-Ross.
Image: Zabulon Laurent

SANYA RICHARDS ROSS — a four-time Olympic gold medal winner — says she doesn’t know of another female athlete who hasn’t had an abortion and revealed she had a termination just days before the 2008 Games.

The American 400m athlete makes the revelation in a newly-released autobiography Chasing Grace.

“The culmination of a lifetime of work was right before me,” she writes about the decision she was faced with before the Beijing Games. ”In that moment, it seemed like no choice at all.

“The debate of when life begins swirled through my head, and the veil of a child out of wedlock at the prime of my career seemed unbearable.

“What would my sponsors, my family, my church, and my fans think of me?”

Richards-Ross went on to claim gold in the relay but was disappointed to come away with bronze in the 400m individual.

“I literally don’t know another female track-and-field athlete who hasn’t had an abortion and that’s sad,’ she said in an interview for TV show Sports Illustrated Now.

Source: Sports Illustrated/YouTube

“So, for me, I’m hoping that this will open up some discussions – to helping especially a lot of young women who were in my situation not experience what I did.

“At that time in your life when you’re in college, you don’t feel comfortable talking to your mom and so, a lot of information you get is from your peers.

“It’s going to sound silly to some people but, in our community, people don’t want to take the pill because you put water weight on.

“And as an athlete you want to stay as fit as possible. And as athletes, people think you can’t pregnant because our cycles are shorter. So there’s a lot of misinformation.”

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