After a glittering career spanning over two decades, Scotland’s most decorated track and field athlete, Eilidh Doyle, has announced her retirement. 

Doyle is one of only a select few Scottish sportspeople to have won Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medals but less than two months out from the Tokyo Olympics, the 400m hurdler has hung up her spikes. 

Doyle gave birth to her son, Campbell, in January of last year and was targeting a spot in the 4x400m relay team for the Tokyo Olympics last summer. 

The postponement of the Games as a result of the pandemic gave the 34-year-old more time to regain her fitness but her comeback was beset by injury setbacks, the most recent being a torn calf and a broken toe in the space of just a few weeks. 

So, with the British Trials just three weeks away, Doyle has made the decision to call it a day. 

“Athletics has all my heart, focus and love but today I announce my retirement as a competitive athlete,” she said in a statement.

“I take with me so many amazing memories but, most importantly, I step away happy in the knowledge that this is the right time for me to go.  

“I’m not saying it was an easy decision to make, but it was the right one and I am grateful I got to choose when it happened.” 

Doyle’s last competitive appearance was as a member of the silver medal-winning relay team at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019 but despite having been absent from the competitive arena for over two years, she has remained heavily involved in the sport as a board member of Scottish Athletics and also a trustee of the newly-formed Athletics Trust Scotland, a charitable spinoff from Scottish Athletics that will aim to raise funds boost the sport’s reach and impact at grassroots. 

Doyle’s statement continued: “The sport has brought me so much more than just medals. I have made lifelong friends, experienced incredible atmospheres, made history and even met my husband because of it.

“Now we have our wee boy, Campbell, and so much more to look forward to as a family. I do find it fitting however that my last international competition was winning a silver medal in front of a home crowd in Glasgow. Athletics will always hold a special place in my heart and now I get to enjoy it from the other side as a fan. 

“What an adventure it has been and now I look forward to the next one, whatever it may be.” 

 Mark Pollard, Head of Performance with Scottish Athletics paid tribute to Doyle, saying: “It is fitting and hugely appropriate that as Eilidh retires from competitive athletics we say a huge ‘Thank You’. 

“It is safe to say Eilidh has made a massive contribution to our sport. This has been shown via her medals for Team Scotland as well as GB & NI, countless international circuit appearances and British Championship medals. 

“But over a period of 25 years, from coming into the sport at nine, it has been about so much more than that. She’s a classic example of a youngster coming through the club system at Pitreavie AAC and then stepping up the levels and making it to the top of her sport. 

“I would say a huge feature of Eilidh’s career has been her ability to maximise her talent thanks to hard work and dedication. That’s a key essence of our sport; can you be the best version of yourself? 

“We would very much hope she won’t be lost to the sport. Eilidh already has some background roles – with Scottish Athletics and Athletics Trust Scotland – and I am certain in the coming months we will explore other possibilities.  

“She has so much experience and knowledge to pass on and we would love to tap into that to help the next generation follow in her footsteps.”