A runner who competed for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi recently has commenced legal action for constructive dismissal against her former employers, claiming they reneged on offers to help her compete.
Athlete Michelle Ross-Cope, 38, from Waterhayes in Newcastle, worked as a finance assistant at Freshpack Ltd.
She finished sixth in last week's Commonwealth Games marathon, but says increased sporting success came at a price and put a huge strain on her relationship with the company.
Problems began shortly before last summer's European Championships in Barcelona (where she finished 14th) after Freshpack suspended her for failing to book sufficient holiday time to go altitude training.
The company subsequently reinstated her, but Ms Ross-Cope said relations with management took another nosedive after she was selected for England's Commonwealth Games team.
Ross-Cope said: "I have decided to go down the route of a tribunal.
"A company I worked for, for six years, who said they would support me with my running, basically started to make it more difficult.
"You don't want to turn your country down, but when your company is making it difficult to have time off then it is hard."
After her performance in Delhi, she is now a contender to make the Great Britain squad for the 2012 Olympics in London. But the mother-of-three says her problems at work almost made her pack in her athletics career.
She said: "I did think that when I came back from the Commonwealth Games I might have to retire.
"But physically and mentally I can still compete and I want to go as far as I can.
"I don't want to give up and then look back in four or five years and wish I had carried on."
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Ms Ross-Cope said competing as an international athlete had put a major stress on her finances. "While I was in Doha, at the training camp for the Commonwealth Games, I was going through employment agencies and sending off my CV.
"I am not funded, apart from my kit sponsorship with Asics.
"There is prize money from races, and I have won around £2,000 over the last year, but you have to weigh that up with paying for physiotherapy, accommodation and things such as altitude tents."