Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree has announced he's gay.

The 45-year-old athlete told his story to The Scottish Star.

“I was brought up by a war generation; they grew up when gay people were put in jail,” Obree told the newspaper. “Being homosexual was so unthinkable that you just wouldn't be gay. I'd no inkling about anything, I just closed down.”

Obree, who attempted to take his own life in 1998 and again in 2001, linked his suicide attempts to his sexuality.

“I was brought up thinking you'd be better dead than gay,” Obree said. “I must have know I was gay and it was unacceptable.”

But it wasn't until 2005 that Obree began to accept that he was gay after he sought therapy.

Telling his parents, he said, was particularly difficult.

“It was difficult and there were lots of tears. It wasn't easy. But the relationship with my parents has been improved by it. We talked about it and discussed things and we're a lot happier,” Obree said.

Obree, who twice broke the world hour record, was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame last year.