Suzy Favor Hamilton says she has worked as escort

Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says

she coped with depression and a troubled marriage by turning to a life

of prostitution.

In a series of posts to her Twitter account, Favor Hamilton acknowledged working as an escort following a report Thursday

on The Smoking Gun website about her double life.

"I do not expect people to understand," Favor Hamilton tweeted. "But the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time

and were very much related to depression."

The Smoking Gun said the 44-year-old athlete

has been working for the last year for a Las Vegas escort service that

booked

her for dates there, as well as in Los Angeles, Houston and

Chicago. The website said she charged $600 an hour for her services.

One of the country's best-ever

middle-distance runners, Favor Hamilton competed for the U.S. at the

Olympics in 1992, 1996

and 2000 but did not win a medal. She won seven U.S. national

titles. She lives in Madison, Wis., where, The Smoking Gun reported,

she and her husband, Mark, live in a $600,000 home and appear to

be in no financial distress based on the website's review

of court and municipal records.

Favor Hamilton told the website that only her husband was aware of her escort work, but that, "He tried, he tried to get me

to stop. He wasn't supportive of this at all."

The website reported that Favor Hamilton worked under the alias "Kelly Lundy" but said she told some of her clients about

her true identity and suspected one of them leaked her identity.

Soon after the story appeared online, Favor

Hamilton released a series of tweets saying in part that she was "drawn

to escorting

in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me

when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage

and my life."

A nine-time NCAA champion for Wisconsin, Favor Hamilton is the namesake of the Big Ten's Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year Award,

given to the conference's top female athlete.

Neither Favor Hamilton nor officials from the Big Ten immediately responded to requests from The Associated Press seeking

comment.

Prostitution is legal in most rural counties in Nevada, but is illegal in Las Vegas and Reno. A Las Vegas police spokeswoman

did not immediately respond to a message about whether the department was investigating. Telephone numbers for the escort

service Hamilton said she worked for were not in service and attempts to reach a company representative by email were not

immediately successful.

Favor Hamilton is a three-time outdoor 1,500-meter national champion and a three-time indoor national champion — her last

title coming in 1999.

"As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody," she said in one Twitter

post.

In another, she says she is seeking psychological care for her problem.

She closes her series of tweets by saying, "I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter,

and friend."