Former Olympic athlete Colin Jackson has denied he is gay, but said he does not mind what people say about him.

Jackson, 41, told The Voice newspaper that persistent rumours about his sexuality are “strange and bizarre.”

The former hurdler appeared on BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 and 2006.

He has just released a book, Life’s New Hurdles.

Cardiff-born Jackson won a silver medal in the 110m Hurdles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

“I don’t mind having people say what they like,” he told the paper.

“I know that I am not but I don’t think it’s for me to be going round screaming it from the rooftops.

“I think it’s just rubbish. It makes no real sense to me.

“It’s quite strange and bizarre but people say what they say.

“It’s only people who don’t know you who say things like that, not people who do know you.

“They are not in my life at all, so it makes no difference to me.”

When asked why he was not with anyone at the moment, he replied:

“Because I don’t particularly want to be with any woman. It’s as simple as that.”

His outspoken comments should put to rest persistent rumours about a gay relationship with a UK swimmer.

In 2006 an air steward claimed in a national newspaper that he had a secret affair with the Welsh athlete.

Jackson, who is a London 2012 Olympics ambassador, told The Voice that gay sports stars can come out.

“It’s the 21st century,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody thinks about that any more. There might have been a stigma in years gone by.”

Jackson said actress Halle Berry is his ideal woman.