British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith has asked for more funding to study the impact of the rules on sports performance after stopping with cramps caused by her periods, during her defense of the 100 meters title at the European Championships .

“People don’t always talk about it either because you see girls who have been so consistent and there’s a random drop off,” Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

“Behind the scenes they are really struggling, but outside everyone is like, ‘What is this? It’s random,” so it could just do with more funding.

“I feel like if this was a men’s issue, we’d have a million different ways to tackle things, but with women, you just need more funding in this area.”

The 26-year-old stormed 60m into the race on Tuesday suffering from calf cramps and finished last, but brushed aside any lingering doubts about her injury when she returned to the track on Thursday night for the semi-finals of 200m.

“[It was] girl stuff [on Tuesday]. It was frustrating, but just one of those things,” she told BBC Sport after winning her 200m race with a time of 22.53 seconds.

“It’s a shame because I’m in really good shape so I was really looking to come and run fast here, but sometimes that’s not how it all goes.”

“It’s something that I think more people really need to research from a sports science perspective because it’s absolutely massive.”

Only 6% of sports and exercise studies have focused specifically on women, Kelly Lee McNulty – a researcher on the effect of the menstrual cycle on exercise – told the BBC in May.

Nevertheless, several female athletes have begun to publicly address the impact of periods on their performance, breaking the taboo that still exists around the subject.

In May, women’s golf world No. 4 Lydia Ko was praised for speaking openly about her period-related back pain at the Palos Verdes Championship. Tennis star Iga Swiatek has also spoken about the impact of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) following her loss to Maria Sakkari in the 2021 WTA Finals.

Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, meanwhile, recently launched her own fitness app that incorporates menstrual cycle tracking into her exercise planning, allowing users to train around their cycle.

Asher-Smith will then compete in the 200m final tonight.

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