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Shalane Flanagan responds to Sanya Richards-Ross’ comments on track athletes and abortion

On Wednesday, Olympic long-distance runner Shalane Flanagan tweeted that she doesn’t know any track and field athlete who had had an abortion after sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross told Sports Illustrated Now on June 6 that every female track athlete she knows has had an abortion.

Richards-Ross, a five-time Olympic medalist, made the comment after revealing in her memoir, Chasing Grace, that she had an abortion two weeks before the 2008 Olympic Games, where she won gold in the 4×400-meter relay.

“I literally don’t know another female track-and-field athlete who hasn’t had an abortion—and that’s sad,” Richards-Ross told Sports Illustrated Now’s Maggie Gray.

Flanagan, who was on Team USA with Richards-Ross at the 2008 Olympics, where she won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters, responded Wednesday that she she does not know of anyone who has had an abortion and thinks it’s “unfair to paint everyone” in the same light.

[More from Excelle Sports: Sanya Richards-Ross says her hardest goodbye during Olympic Trials]

Flanagan, who also holds American records in the 3,000 meters indoor, 5,000 meters indoor and 15-km road race, initially won a bronze medal at the 2008 Games, but it was later upgraded to silver.

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