Natasha Gale 'needed break' before British team suspension

'I was exhausted mentally and physically' - Gale on boxing suspension

Former European champion Natasha Gale says her GB Boxing suspension gave her the break she needed from the sport.

The 30-year-old was dropped from Britain's European Championships squad in May because of "unacceptable conduct" at April's Commonwealth Games.

The middleweight has returned to training with the team, with her comeback fight in Turkey next month.

"Maybe my actions weren't the best at the time, just because of the space I was in with my own head," Gale said.

"I think I needed the break - I was just exhausted mentally and physically and it also gave me time to reassess my goals and what I want to achieve."

Gale won gold at the 2016 European Championships, her first appearance at a major international event, but was eliminated in her first fight at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

She is now targeting next year's World Championships, as well as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"I don't know if people didn't maybe expect me to come back. I didn't know if I wanted to come back, so it was quite a scary experience," Gale told BBC Look North.

"I spoke to some of my coaches, we all had a cry and then we just got on with it.

"We've just been working towards the next goal, it's just kind of been swept under the rug."