Anyika Onuora: ‘I couldn’t tell anyone – a lot of abuse in sport is swept under the rug’

British Olympic medal-winning athlete on how a system skewed against black sportswomen left her feeling alone in the face of sexual assault and racism

“If I said I wasn’t nervous I’d be lying,” Anyika Onuora suggests with a little smile in the front room of her mother’s house in Liverpool. We have known each other since I first interviewed Onuora in April 2017 and in the intervening years she has confidentially told me everything she is now about to share with the world. Onuora is an amusing and intelligent woman, full to the brim with life and laughter, but her story as a black female athlete is framed by haunting racism and sexual assault.

Her important and powerful new book, My Hidden Race, was published on Thursday. This is Onuora’s first interview about subjects we have discussed privately for so long and, suddenly, everything seems very real.

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