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Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton and husband Scott Gardner separate

Scott Gardner and Victoria Pendleton Image copyright John Stillwell/PA Wire
Image caption The couple had been together for 10 years and married for five

Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton has announced she and her husband are separating.

Ms Pendleton, 37, who has also competed on Strictly Come Dancing, said she was "very sad" that she and Scott Gardner "have grown apart".

The couple married in September 2013, five years after they got together during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The announcement comes days after Ms Pendleton revealed she felt "damaged" pulling out of a Mount Everest climb.

In a post on social media, Ms Pendleton wrote: "Despite our best efforts in trying to make our marriage work, we have come to the decision to go our separate ways. It has been an extremely difficult time and a tough decision to make.

"We want to look ahead to the future and stay positive. We would both gratefully appreciate our privacy being respected as we navigate what is a deeply personal time for us."

'Everyone was angry'

The post was accompanied by a picture of a drawing of a small child next to a horse.

Above the drawing was written: "'What else have you learned?'

"'That no matter how it appears everyone has their struggles' said the horse."

Image copyright Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Image caption Scott Gardner was a part of Victoria Pendleton's support team at the 2008 games

Ms Pendleton has previously spoken to the BBC of the friction her relationship with Mr Gardner, a Team GB sports scientist, caused with her team-mates in 2008.

She said: "Everyone was so angry with us, that Scott and I had fallen in love, because it was so unprofessional and we were a disgrace and had betrayed everybody."

After making the separation announcement on her Twitter profile, Ms Pendleton posted a picture of herself hugging a competitor after winning gold at the games.

Next to the picture she wrote: "Just realised that last tweet was number 888. The number pinned on my back in Beijing was 8888 a very significant number. #superstition."

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