Former European 800 metres champion Lynsey Sharp admitted needing to make too many sacrifices has led her to retire from athletics at the age of 33.

The two-time Olympian made an abortive comeback last spring after over three years out due to injury and the arrival of her first child.

But the Scot, who last raced in June, was unable to recover the heights that saw her claim her lone major title in 2012 before adding further European and Commonwealth silvers in 2014.

“Throughout my career, I was often asked about the sacrifices I had made to be an athlete: I never saw these life choices as sacrifices,” she said. “I didn’t want to spend my time going anything else. Time goes on and our priorities change. Now I do believe I’m making sacrifices in other aspects of my life in order to continue pursuing my athletics career. And that’s why I know now is the right time to hang up my spikes. I’ve given it everything I’m willing to give: mentally, physically and financially.”

The daughter of athletes Cameron and Carol Sharp, the Edinburgh AC star was sixth at the Rio 2016 Olympics in what was then a Scottish record of 1:57.69. The law graduate was instantly – and unjustly – caught up in a firestorm surrounding gold medallist Caster Semenya and the controversy surrounding the performance advantage held by the South African due to her heightened testosterone.

Sharp’s analysis, formed by her own academic research, led to death threats and an uncomfortable spotlight. And in what proved to be her last major championships, at the worlds in 2019 in Doha, she exited in the opening round before a fresh path toward parenthood with her now-husband, fellow athlete Andy Butchart.

“As with any sports career, it’s been a rocky road,” she added. “The highest of highs and some very low points. Every single experience has shaped me into the person I am today and I will always be thankful for everything this sport has taught me.”