Racism in track and field still a thing? - Dawn Harper-Nelson talks comeback

By Donald Oliver & Ricardo Chambers November 13, 2019

2008 Olympic sprint hurdles champion Dawn Harper-Nelson says she was once told that because of her skin colour she might not get the recognition her accolades deserved.

The 35-year old who will attempt to qualify for her third Olympic Games in 2020 after recently announcing a returm from a one-year retirement was speaking on SportsMax's Commentators Podcast.

After becoming the first US woman to repeat as an Olympic 100m hurdles medallist in 2012, Harper-Nelson expressed concern that Lolo Jones who finished fourth in the final garnered more attention than the actual medallists.

She told The Commentators that she stands by that position while admitting things had gotten better over time.

But she also revealed how devastating it was for her.

"In the beginning, I was told that I was dark-skinned and that was an issue."

She explained "that was really hard to deal with," but said she focussed on winning races.

Harper-Nelson who has also won two World Championship medals revealed she will start her comeback without a sponsorship deal.

In a candid and energetic discussion, she also touched on the use of drugs in her event and the recent decision from track and field's governing body to cut some events from the 2020 Diamond League.

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