Ian Thorpe: Olympic swimming legend in rehab after police called

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe

Five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe is being treated for depression after being found by Australian police behaving oddly near a car in Sydney.

"The owner of the car basically called the police and the police came," said the swimmer's manager, James Erskine.

"They realised it was Ian Thorpe. They realised he was disoriented."

Erskine said the 31-year-old swimming legend was taking anti-depressants and medication for a shoulder injury but was not under the influence of alcohol.

"He is in rehab for depression," Erskine added in an interview with the Australian Associated Press. "He hadn't had a drink. He had zero alcohol in him."

Police said no official complaint has been made and no further police action is anticipated.

Erskine's admission that Thorpe is in rehab comes only days after the Australian's management company denied reports he checked into a rehab facility while battling depression and alcohol abuse.

HARDtalk - Ian Thorpe

In his autobiography, published last year, Thorpe revealed he had been battling "crippling depression".

In an interview with the BBC's HARDtalk programme, he talked about having suicidal thoughts, drinking too much and hiding his despair from those closest to him.

Known to fans as "Thorpedo", he was a freestyle specialist and one of the greatest swimmers of his generation.

He won three gold and two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, followed by two more golds at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He also won 11 World Championships gold medals, including six in 2001.

After retiring in 2006, he attempted a comeback early in 2011 but failed to make the Australian team for the 2012 Olympics in London.