The GuardianThe Guardian

Lauren Fleshman: ‘There is a betrayal of women’s bodies in the sports system’

By Matthew Hall

07 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

The former 5000m champion talks passionately with The Guardian about desexualizing women’s bodies in the context of competitive sport and taking seriously the influence of puberty on young athletes.

“If males got boobs during puberty there would be a free sports bra in every locker and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” says Lauren Fleshman, laughing but not joking. “When teams issue uniforms a sports bra should be part of that uniform.”

Fleshman, a former professional runner and elite college athlete with multiple national titles during her time at Stanford University, is now running a race to highlight how the sports industry fail women.

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