SYDNEY: Ian Thorpe’s management company has denied media reports the five-time Olympic swimming champion checked into a rehabilitation facility seeking treatment for depression and alcohol abuse.

“Ian Thorpe is not in rehab. 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,” Thorpe’s management company, SEL, said in a statement on Friday.

Thorpe, who set 13 long-course world records in his career and was one of the stars at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, retired from competitive swimming in 2006. He made a comeback bid in 2012, but failed to make the Australian team for the London Olympics.

In his autobiography, released last year, Thorpe said he spent much of his life battling “crippling” depression.

He has been living in Switzerland for the past 18 months but returned to Sydney to spend the Christmas period with family.

News Corporation on Thursday reported the 31-year-old Thorpe was admitted to hospital on Wednesday after being injured in a fall. The news organization quoted a friend of Thorpe as saying “he had an accident at home. He slipped and hurt himself. We’re hoping he’s going to be OK and make a full recovery.”—AP


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