Scottish cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy has announced he is being treated for cancer. 

The six-time Olympic gold medallist said the news came as a "huge shock" last year and he is undergoing chemotherapy. 

The 47-year-old from Edinburgh posted a statement on social media saying he had wanted to keep his diagnosis private but his "hand has been forced". 

He said: "I have a bit of news. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer, which came as a huge shock, having had no symptoms up to that point.

"I'm currently receiving treatment including chemotherapy, which thankfully is going really well.

Glasgow Times: Sir Chris Hoy is a six-time Olympic championSir Chris Hoy is a six-time Olympic champion (Image: PA)

"I'd like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the medical professionals for their amazing help and care. 

"For the sake of my young family, I had hoped to keep this information private but regrettably our hand has been forced. Whilst I'm thankful for any support, I'd like to deal with this privately. 

"My heart goes out to the many others who are also going through similar challenges right now.

"I'm optimistic, positive, and surrounded by love for which I'm truly grateful. As you might imagine, the last few months have been incredibly difficult.

"However, I currently feel fine - I am continuing to work, ride my bike and live my life as normal. It's an exciting year of work ahead, not least with the Paris Olympics in July.

"I can't wait to get stuck in, have fun and share it with you all."

Glasgow Times: An emotional Sir Chris Hoy at the 2012 Olympics when he won two gold medalsAn emotional Sir Chris Hoy at the 2012 Olympics when he won two gold medals (Image: PA)

Hoy, who grew up in the Murrayfield area, is an 11-time world champion and six time Olympic champion, having received six gold and one silver medal. 

He is the second most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, and Scotland's most successful Olympian ever.

There was an outpouring of support for the athlete following the news. 

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said: "We are incredibly proud to have Sir Chris as our longstanding ambassador and send our heartfelt support to Chris and his family. 

"We know Chris's commitment to the mental health cause remains as strong as ever, and we look forward to working with him in the period ahead."

Glasgow Times: Sir Chris Hoy with his wife Sarra Kemp, who he has two children withSir Chris Hoy with his wife Sarra Kemp, who he has two children with (Image: PA)

A prominent supporter of cancer charities, Sir Chris told one Edinburgh fundraiser in 2009 how two of his grandparents died of leukaemia. 

Speaking at the Cancer Research event, he said:  "Like most people, my family has been touched by cancer.

"My dad's parents both died of leukaemia and I have also lost friends to cancer, so I'm keen to support and help in any way I can."

The cyclist married lawyer Sarra Kemp at St Giles' Cathedral in 2010 and they have a son and daughter together, named Callum and Chloe. 

In 2013, Hoy announced his retirement from competitive cycling, saying competing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games would have been a step too far. 

Glasgow Times: Sir Chris Hoy after beating endurance swimmer Ross Edgley in a race to raise awareness of ocean conservationSir Chris Hoy after beating endurance swimmer Ross Edgley in a race to raise awareness of ocean conservation (Image: PA)

Instead he was a figurehead for the championship, with the velodrome that was used for the games named after him. 

Sir Chris told the Herald at the time: "It would have been lovely to do it but there are no regrets.

"Ultimately it was not a decision I made consciously – your body can essentially only keep going at that level for so long.

"The recovery you need when you are coming back from injury also takes longer and longer the older you get.

"It was good that I could hang on until I was 36 and still win an Olympic gold because that was beyond what a lot of people thought was possible.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow's velodrome has been named after Sir Chris HoyGlasgow's velodrome has been named after Sir Chris Hoy (Image: PA)

"Glasgow 2014 would have been one step too far.

"You could not turn up with anything other than 100% form and expect to leave with a medal. I could probably have still been 95% but the difference between first and second place, never mind first and sixth, is fractions of a second.

"Coming in just five per cent off my best would have been a long way off the gold medal and I did not want to take that opportunity from an up-and-coming young athlete."

Read more: Sir Chris Hoy to lead 50km virtual cycle for Doddie Aid MND fundraiser

Since retiring, Sir Chris has published two children's books – Flying Fergus about a young cyclist and Be Amazing! a confidence guide for young people. 

He is also an ambassador for UNICEF and the Scottish Association for Mental Health. 

And in 2023, Sir Chris beat endurance swimmer Ross Edgly in a race across Skye. The Olympian cycled almost 30km around Loch Harport while Edgly swan 5.5km in the water. 

Despite suffering a puncture on his bike, Sir Chris still beat Edgly by just over 10 minutes.