Olympic great Ian Thorpe in rehab
SYDNEY — The manager of Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe says the five-time gold medalist is in rehab after being found disoriented on a Sydney street early Monday morning by police responding to a call from residents.
James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press that Thorpe was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury.
Police spoke to Thorpe after residents near his parents’ home in Panania in Sydney’s southwest reported a man allegedly breaking into a van. He was taken to Sydney’s Bankstown Hospital for assessment and was later transferred to a rehab facility.
“He is in rehab for depression,” AAP quoted Erskine as saying.
Erskine said Thorpe had thought he was sitting in his friend’s car.
“The owner of the car basically called the police and the police came,” he said. “They realized it was Ian Thorpe. They realized he was disoriented.”
Erskine said Thorpe, 31, had been taking antidepressants and medication for his shoulder but had not been drinking alcohol.
“He hadn’t had a drink,” he said. “He had zero alcohol in him.”
Police said no official complaint has been made and no further police action is anticipated.
Thorpe, who is currently living in Switzerland, has been staying with his parents over Christmas.
Erskine’s admission that Thorpe is in rehab comes only days after Thorpe’s management company denied reports he checked into a rehab facility while battling depression and alcohol abuse.
News Corporation, quoting friends of Thorpe, said he had been injured in a fall at his parents’ home and was taken to hospital. Reports said Thorpe checked into a rehab facility, but later checked out and returned to his parent’s home.
Thorpe’s management company, SEL, later issued a statement denying the reports.
“Ian is not in rehab,” a SEL representative said Friday.
“Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder and is pleased to let his friends and fans know that he is now out of hospital and on the mend.”
In his autobiography, published last year, Thorpe said “not even my family is aware that I’ve spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression.”
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