Jessica Ennis-Hill on Ched Evans, post-baby life & Rio 2016

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Ennis-Hill 'wanted opinion' on Evans

When Sheffield United initially agreed to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to train with the club after his release from prison, Jessica Ennis-Hill realised she had to make a decision on whether to allow her name to be assigned to a stand at the club's ground.

The London 2012 heptathlon champion decided she didn't want one side of Bramall Lane to continue bearing her name if Evans was to play in front of it and made her wishes public.

Evans, 25, had served half of a five-year jail sentence for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl in 2011 when he was released on 17 October. The club later withdrew its offer to Evans.

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Sport, Ennis-Hill, 28, talks about her decision, the online abuse she received afterwards and how her life and career have changed since she became a mother with the birth of son Reggie in July.

She also gave her view on domestic rival Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who is returning to action after a foot injury, and allegations from German broadcaster ARD that doping is rife in Russian athletics.

Ennis-Hill on Ched Evans

"I knew I was in a position where I was going to upset someone whether I said something or didn't.

"With my stand at Sheffield United and the association I have with the club, I really just wanted to voice my opinion.

"It wasn't about putting pressure on the club or anything like that - it was just simply about how I felt.

"I think people can be rehabilitated and if they have served time in jail can go back into society, but I just feel that when you are in a really privileged position it's quite different."

On the Twitter reaction

"It was definitely a shock. It was not very nice to read them but unfortunately that's the world we live in.

"You kind of have to keep focused on who you are and what you believe in, and try not to read too much into it.

"You can't spend hours going through your Twitter feed and reading everything every single person says to you. You need to get on with your life."

On life as a mother

"The first training session since Reggie's birth was exciting.

"It was nice to get back to the track and to start running again, but definitely it's been a huge, huge change.

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Ennis-Hill announced son Reggie's birth on Twitter

"It was weird training through pregnancy and then getting back without a bump.

"Sleep deprivation is the hardest bit. Your whole life changes when you have your first child and having sleepless nights is a real challenge... as every parent experiences. Then, having to get up and train and push your body is quite difficult. It's a huge challenge.

"It's quite hard to see where I am at the moment, having had a year away from training and missing a full winter season, but I feel it is coming back quite quickly.

"I know it will take time to build back my strength and my speed, but training is going well and if it is managed and balanced well with my coach then hopefully I can get back to a good level of fitness soon."

On Rio 2016

"It's hard getting up when you have not had much sleep but I really want to have this last push in my career. I'm looking forward to the Olympics, I really want to be there and want to be a contender and that's what keeps me motivated.

"I have two years to get the work done and get where I was. I'm still the competitive person I was and I really hope I can contend for a gold medal.

"London 2012 was fantastic and it will be very hard to top, but if I am able to get work done and get to Rio and win a gold medal having had a child, that would be unbelievable."

On Johnson-Thompson

"Her progress has been incredible, I was gutted to see her suffer an injury in the summer. I know what that's like to have stress fractures when you are really ready to compete at your best, and the Commonwealths were going to be fantastic for her.

"She's an incredible athlete and has been for a number of years. She will be a true, true competitor for Rio 2016. It is exciting for this country and she is going to push me all the way."

On allegations of Russian doping

"It's hard as an athlete to comprehend that - it's an incredible amount of athletes if true and it's disappointing because we train incredibly hard to win medals. If you think about people cheating, it's really frustrating."

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