Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson has called on UK Sport to re-examine the “performance pressure” placed on British swimmers following Adam Peaty’s announcement that he is struggling with his mental health.

Peaty, the triple Olympic champion, has chosen not to take part in this week’s British Championships after admitting he was feeling burnt out and was no longer enjoying the sport.

Jamieson has spoken previously about facing similar struggles during his own swimming career that peaked with his second place in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012.

And the Glaswegian believes the “prehistoric” need for athletes to keep training month after month to qualify for funding is the root of the problem.

He said: “I felt for Adam reading that. I don’t know him particularly well and we were crossing over just as I was finishing up but it’s always tough to read that kind of thing. I can obviously relate to what he’s going through. Maybe not in the same capacity with the number of gold medals!

“But just those kinds of emotions as it’s super tough. You’re looking at 30 to 35 hours of training a week for a decade plus. You’re not human if you’re not feeling the effects of that.

“Adam has been at the top, breaking records on an annual basis, for seven or eight years now and he’s obviously had some major life events, with his son being born. The picture I’m sure is very different for him now.

“Swimming is such a tough sport. The approach to it is actually quite prehistoric just in terms of the number of training hours required to get that performance.

“We’re all so well supported as athletes in this country through UK Sport. But there is an annual performance pressure to maintain your income. Whereas in the other big swimming nations – Australia, Japan, America etc – quite often these guys will swim at an Olympic Games and then take six months or even a full 12-month break. And that’s why these guys are going to three or four Games.

“In this country it’s very, very rare to have a British athlete who can go to multiple Games like that. And it’s because the pressure here is a bit more consistent. You’re kind of forced back into it year after year. I hope down the line that’s looked at as I feel that we can support guys a lot better to prolong their careers.”

Peaty, one of the finest swimmers of his generation, felt that he needed some time out before stepping up his preparations again for next year’s Olympics in Paris.

He wrote on social media: “Everyone wants to sit in your seat until they have to sit in your seat … very few people understand what winning and success does to an individual’s mental health.

“They don’t understand the pressures these individuals put on themselves to win over and over again. As some people may know, I’ve struggled with my mental health over the last few years and I think it’s important to be honest about it. I’m tired, I’m not myself and I’m not enjoying the sport as I have done for the last decade.

“Some might recognise it as burnout; I just know that over the last few years I haven’t had the answers. With help, now I know how I can address the imbalance in my life. Whilst I am continuing to train, I have decided to withdraw from the British Swimming Championships next month.

“This is with the sole purpose of delivering the best performance possible in Paris at the 2024 Olympic Games. This sport has given me everything I am and I’m looking forward to finding the love I have for it again.”