'Real Housewives' Shake-Up: Why Did Sanya Richards-Ross Leave 'RHOA'?

The announcement of Sanya's departure included two other former peach holders who were also said to be exiting the show.

Sheridan Singleton - Author

Apr. 1 2024, Published 1:23 p.m. ET

Sanya richards Ross on WWHL
Source: Bravo

In Season 14 of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta, retired athlete Sanya Richards-Ross joined the cast. She came along right in the midst of the steady decline of the largely popular series. Season 15 proved to be the most lackluster season in the history of the series, and many were already calling for the cast to be revitalized with some new faces. As one of the already newer faces, Sanya seemed likely to stay on the show, but it was announced in March 2024 that she would not be returning for Season 16.

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Sanya was one of the calmer presences in the RHOA cast, and her trials during the 15th season were certainly heartbreaking. While there was much-manufactured drama in Season 15, Sanya’s story regarding her pregnancy provided a sense of much-needed heart and soul to the season. The announcement of Sanya's departure included two other former peach holders who were also said to not be returning.

So, why did Sanya Richards-Ross leave RHOA?

Sanya Richards Ross at Bravo Con
Source: Bravo
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Why did Sanya Richards-Ross leave 'RHOA'?

Sanya has not released an official statement on her reasons for leaving the series. In fact, the news broke during Andy Cohen’s radio show, Radio Andy. During the March 14, 2024 episode, he included Sanya in a list of other Housewives leaving the show, confirming that the Olympic champion would not be returning.

In December 2023, Sanya gave birth to a baby boy, Asani, who joined her older son, Deuce, with husband Aaron Ross. It’s possible that Sanya wanted to take time to focus on her newborn, but the truth lies with Sanya herself.

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Sanya richards ross and fan pose for photo at BravoCon
Source: Bravo

Sanya Richards-Ross is a former Olympic champion.

Before joining The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Sanya Richards-Ross had already accomplished many feats. Running on the track and field team, Sanya earned four medals, three of which were gold medals during the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics representing the United States. Now that she is retired from her Olympic career, Sanya has embraced entrepreneurship, exploring business ventures while living as a mother of two. She gained her peach in RHOA’s 14th season.

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Sanya, Shereé, Marlo, and Monyetta pose for a selfie
Source: Bravo

Sanya joined several other Real Housewives in leaving their franchises.

The news of Sanya's leaving RHOA came after Kandi Burruss and Marlo Hampton also announced that they were leaving the show. Shortly after, Annemarie Wiley shared that she would not be returning to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after her controversial first season. Candiace Dillard-Bassett and Robyn Dixon also announced that they’d be leaving The Real Housewives of Potomac, which also had an up-and-down season for its fans. These exits, however, make room for more new faces.

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Kenya Moore, Kandi Burruss, Moderator, Shereé Whitfield, Marlo Hampton and Sanya Richards Ross at BravoCon
Source: Bravo

Sanya, Kandi, and Marlo may have left ‘RHOA,’ but the announcement of Porsha Williams's return was right on time.

It had been known that there would be a major cast shift in RHOA, and that included those who were leaving and those who were returning. Porsha Williams-Guobadia announced her return to the series shortly before the news of her now-estranged husband's alleged crimes and potential deportation broke. She was one of a few names that viewers were hoping to see return. Another name on fans' lips has been NeNe Leakes, but her return is more akin to wishful thinking, as the relationship between her and Bravo is still fractured.

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