Three-time Olympic 400m runner Lee McConnell has said she is to retire with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old has stressed the difficulty she had in making her decision as it means she will miss out on this year's Commonwealth Games which get underway in Glasgow in the summer.

"2014 is obviously a huge year for Scotland and this was not an easy decision to make as it means not competing in a home Commonwealth Games. now is my time, however," the athlete stated. 

McConnell gave birth to her son Ethan last year and has said that her life has changed since becoming a mother. She returned to training just nine weeks after he was born, aiming to get her fitness levels back up.

Speaking of motherhood, McConnell said: "Over the past few months my life has changed in an amazing way, I am now a mum."

The Glaswegian has however insisted that she will still play a part in the Commonwealth Games this year:

"I'm excited for the new opportunities and challenges that retiring from athletics will bring me  and look forward to getting involved with a home games - just not as a competing athlete!"

McConnell has been very successful at previous Commonwealth Games, having taken silver in Manchester in 2002 as well as achieving a bronze in Melbourne four years later.

She has also been part of a strong 4 x 400m relay team, with them having secured third place at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010,  bettering this by one place a year later at the European Indoor Championships in Paris. 

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