Retired Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton has criticised British Track coach Shane Sutton for making her last years riding in the discipline "very difficult", after her relationship with sports scientist Scott Gardner was revealed in the wake of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Pendleton took gold and silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, in the Keirin and Individual Sprint, backing up gold she won in Beijing four years earlier.
The 31-year-old is also one of Great Britain's most respected and decorated cyclists, her exploits lighting up the boards for the best part of the last decade.
Speaking at the release of her autobiography detailing her career, Between The Lines, Pendleton told journalists that she felt the track squad was happy to see the back of her.
"They are glad to be rid of me to be perfectly honest because of the difficulty I caused them with the Scott (Gardner) situation," reported The Sun.
Gardner, who worked closely with Pendelton before Beijing 2008 as a trainer and sports scientist, left the team by mutual consent after those Olympics when Pendleton revealed the two were intimately involved.
Gardner was later rehired but, Pendleton said, the wounds never healed, and she copped heated criticism from several high-profile coaches, including Jan van Eiden and Sutton.
"A few people have made my life very difficult. Sutton, for one, can be quite difficult," she said.
Pendleton was surprised that there was so much anger over the relationship considering Gardner had been a key part of her development in the sport as an athlete.
She said she became confused by the backlash, and went to the extent of cutting herself in the wake of the 2008 Games.
"I couldn’t have done any of this without Scott," she continued.
"Cutting myself was showing them how much it was hurting me. It should have been the happiest moment of my life, I’ve just become an Olympic champion, but I felt like I had killed somebody."