Gay student athletes are twice as likely to get bullied compared to their straight teammates, according to a new survey in the US.

A poll of nearly 400 college athletes who identify at gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning, found that one in four said they felt pressured to remain silent about their sexual identity by other teammates.

The group Campus Pride revealed the extent of the problem among gay student athletes in its latest National College Athlete Report.

It was produced in conjunction with former England rugby international Ben Cohen’s StandUp Foundation.

Cohen told PinkNews.co.uk last month that more needed to be done to combat homophobia in sport, both in the UK and around the world.

He said: “Teachers need to be educated” in order to deal with the problem of homophobia in schools.

The survey also showed more than 20% of gay student athletes said they were the target of derogatory remarks via email, Facebook or other social media – almost double the level reported by their straight counterparts.

Meanwhile, over 50,000 people have now signed a petition that calls on FIFA to take action against homophobia in football, following the recent homophobic comments of women’s football coach Dilichukwu Onyedinma in Nigeria.