Adam Gemili almost ran back to football after falling out of love with athletics

Adam Gemili is now training in Italy under Marco Airale. (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
Adam Gemili is now training in Italy under Marco Airale. (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Adam Gemili has revealed he was ready to quit athletics and held talks with clubs about returning to football.

The 29-year-old was willing to walk away from the track after falling out of love with the sport.

Gemili no longer has sponsorship and left former coach Rana Reider last year after multiple complaints of sexual misconduct were made against Reider – something he denies.

Gemili partly blamed bad press for contributing to an early exit from the 200m at last year’s World Championships while he was still with Reider, before apologising for accusing the media.

He now trains in Italy under Marco Airale, Reider’s former assistant, but admitted the stress almost forced him to quit and return to football, having spent seven years in Chelsea’s academy and two years with Dagenham and Redbridge.

“I basically quit the sport, I didn’t have any interest, I didn’t enjoy getting up training. I hated it and that was because of all the stressful stuff which was going on,” he said, after coming second in the 60m at the World Indoor Tour in Birmingham on Saturday.

“I’m finding that love again. I don’t make any money out of the sport, I’m not sponsored, but I love it. I’ve been in the sport a long time and there’s still a lot I want to achieve. We’ll get to Paris (Olympics) and then after Paris we’ll reassess.

“I was going back to football. I reached out to a few clubs and they said, ‘Come and do some training with us’. Football was what I came from originally, so that was one of the options for me.

“I can’t say the clubs. There was a Championship club, there was a League One club, no Premier League clubs yet but maybe one day. Chelsea are great, they’ve always said I can come and do some stuff with them whenever I want.

“After the Commonwealth Games, it was a big, ‘Right, do I quit and go back to football and try it, and maybe go into National League or whatever and make a bit of money and enjoy my last few years of sport – or do I commit to this?’

“I thought, ‘I’ve still got unfinished business’. I’ve come fourth at the Olympics and the world champs. I’ve always been close and I know I believe, if I can get myself in shape, I can run with the best. I have done it before, so I just have to find it with myself to go and do it.’

“I sat down with my family and friends and we decided I’ve still got a lot more I want to give in this sport. I’m not making money from this sport at the moment.

“It’s now for the love of it and I do love it. Hopefully I can inspire some young people to come into it.”