Olympic champion Callum Skinner steps away from British track team

After an 11-year career, Skinner will focus on his work away from the bike

Olympic champion Callum Skinner is calling time on his elite track cycling career, after 11 years in the sport.

The 26-year-old last competed in the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year, and has since turned his focus to sport politics.

Skinner, who was part of the gold-winning team sprint squad at the Rio Olympics, has been on extended break since then due to health issues.

In a blog post announcing he would be stepping back from the track, Skinner said: “Cycling has been very good to me. I’ve made lifelong friends and realised my dream for which I am eternally privileged.

“I appreciate that 26 might seem to many quite young to be transitioning away from the track, but I have never considered myself just an athlete – I consider myself far more than that.”

>>> Route announced for inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland

Glasgow-born Skinner was inspired by his compatriot Sir Chris Hoy to take up cycling in 2004, being accepted into the British Cycling performance pathway four years later.

During his career, Skinner took five World Cup medals, one Commonwealth Games medal, and a European title alongside his Olympic gold in 2016.

British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington said: “Callum has done both Scotland and Great Britain proud during his cycling career, winning medals on the global stage and playing his part in inspiring more people to take up cycling.

“For me though, what is just as remarkable is what Callum has been able to achieve off the bike. In my time at British Cycling, he has developed into an articulate and passionate spokesman – whether as an LGBT ally, an advocate for better athlete representation, working with UK Anti-Doping or just asking for improved conditions on the roads for people on bikes.”

>>> Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal adjourned, but public will not be told why

Since his last competition, Skinner has been active in anti-doping campaigning and has been elected to the British Olympic Associations Athletes’ Commission.

Last month, Skinner announced he would be fronting a new movement, Global Athlete, which aims to combat harassment and doping.

He added: “My focus and effort now lies in working in partnership with British Cycling to continue to make the athlete experience more human, whilst still maintaining that performance mindset.

“I have had an amazing time at British cycling and would like to thank my current and former coaches, performance support staff, and team-mates for an amazing and unforgettable 10 years.”