Athletics

World 200m champion Lyles admits long-term psychological problems

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Noah Lyles of the United States celebrates as he crosses the line to win gold in the men's 4x100 metres relay final during day nine of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Khalifa International Stadium on 5 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Noah Lyles of the United States celebrates as he crosses the line to win gold in the men's 4x100 metres relay final during day nine of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Khalifa International Stadium on 5 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote

World champion sprinter Noah Lyles revealed on Wednesday that he has had psychological problems since he was eight years old, issues that worsened with the coronavirus pandemic, the postponement of the Olympics and the Black Lives Matter movement.

American Lyles, who won gold in the 200 metres and the 4x100m relay in Doha last year and was hotly tipped for success at the Tokyo Games, announced earlier this month that he was on anti-depressants.

"I have probably dealt with it since I was eight years old, all different forms at different times of my life," the 23-year-old said ahead of the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday.

"But it probably just got the worst in April, it's probably the hardest I have ever had to deal with. I think it's a kind of perfect storm, dealing with the Covid, having the Olympic Games postponed, so you are like 'OK, where I am going to put my attention?'.

"The Black Lives movement, that really put the final nail on the coffin."

The American sprint star has often shown a bubbly, cheerful personality in front of the cameras to go with his blistering performances, but admits that he has experienced dark moments.

"I was just like 'I just can't do this anymore'.

"My mother was just like 'it's time to put you on medication', and I said yes because everything I am doing, that I used to do, is not working anymore."

 

 

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