SYDNEY, Australia—Australian media reports say five-time Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe has checked into a rehabilitation facility in Sydney while battling depression and alcohol abuse.
News Corporation says the 31-year-old Thorpe was admitted to hospital Wednesday after being injured in a fall. It quoted a friend of Thorpe’s as saying “he had an accident at home, slipped and hurt himself. We’re hoping he’s going to be OK and make a full recovery.”
There was no immediate response from Thorpe’s manager to an emailed request from The Associated Press for comment.
Thorpe has been living in Switzerland for the past 18 months but returned to Sydney to spend the Christmas period with family.
Australian reports say Thorpe, who has lived for the past 18 months in Switzerland, returned home to Sydney to spend the Christmas period with his family. He has reportedly been seen at several prominet social events including the Australian Open tennis.
In his autobiography, Thorpe admitted his struggles with depression and alcohol.
“Not even my family is aware that I’ve spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression,” he wrote.
Friday’s reports quoted friends of Thorpe as saying the multiple Olympic and world champion had struggled to adjust to life after swimming and with the disappointment of a failed comeback for the London Olympics in 2012.
Thorpe last year said he had given up hope of competing at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics because of a shoulder injury.