Elise Christie has released her new autobiography ©Getty Images

British short track speed skater Elise Christie has opened up about a date rape incident and self-harming in her new autobiography Resilience, a book where she delves into mental health and her quest for an Olympic medal.

Three-time world champion Christie, 31, said she was sexually assaulted at the age of 19 when her drink was spiked while out in Nottingham, before her attacker forced her back to his house.

The incident took place after her Winter Olympics debut at Vancouver 2010, but she never reported it to the police.

"There are not many people I've spoken to about it - I had to even tell my mum because she wasn't aware," said Christie.

"I felt victim-shamed, almost, by what happened. 

"I wasn't left in a bush, battered and beaten up, so back then I thought: 'It's not rape'."

Christie had a panic attack a year later when she passed her attacker in public.

Only four people - including a doctor who checked her after the incident - knew about what had happened before she published her autobiography.

"For me it was a big step to even talk about the assault in the first place," she added.

"I've always talked about the fact that I want to help people. 

"There are so many women who have gone through or who might be going through this same situation right now and won't speak up either."

In an excerpt from her book, Christie spoke of her depression following the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and subsequent self-harming, which led to her being hospitalised after cutting a vein.

"One thing I knew right then was that I didn't want to die," she said.

Christie has faced death threats and online abuse over the years after a series of close finishes and disqualifications at the last two Games.

She reached the final of the women's 500 metres at Sochi 2014, but was disqualified after colliding with Italian Arianna Fontana.

Christie competed in the 1500m later, but was disqualified in the heats as she was regarded to be one centimetre outside the permitted leeway, and was disqualified again in the 1000m in the semi-finals after clashing with China's Jianrou Li.

After setting an Olympic record in the 500m at Pyeongchang 2018, Christie was clipped in the final by Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof, crashing out in fourth.

She was disqualified in the 1500m after a collision with China's Li Jinyu and was taken to hospital due to an ankle injury.

Despite coming back for the 1000m, Christie was disqualified after initially qualifying for the quarter-finals, having been carried off the track in pain by her coach.

She is expected to retire after the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20 2022.