Sydney - Swimming great Ian Thorpe was in rehab for clinical depression
on Tuesday after a mixture of painkillers and anti-depressants left him
disoriented on a Sydney street, his manager said.
But James Erskine insisted no alcohol was involved, as the swimmer's father
expressed confidence that his son would "come out the other side".
A "dazed" Thorpe, 31, was discovered by police attempting to get
into a car near to his parent's house in the early hours of Monday and taken to
hospital for assessment.
It was his second recent visit to hospital, after falling and needing
shoulder surgery last week. At the time, his management denied reports that he
was also being treated for depression and alcohol abuse.
Erskine told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the five-time
Olympic gold medallist was now receiving treatment for depression, a condition
Thorpe has struggled with for years.
"He'd been taking prescribed drugs, painkillers for his shoulder and
he's also on prescription drugs for anti-depression... but it's obviously a
mixture of it and that mixture made him disorientated because he was wandering
around at 3 o'clock in the morning," he said.
Residents rang police after Thorpe tried to get into a car that he thought
belonged to a friend.
"He became disorientated and he tried to get into what he thought was a
friend's car, but it wasn't his friend's car at all," Erskine said.
"The police came; they were fantastic, they realised it was Ian Thorpe
and they called an ambulance."
As well as being open about his depression, Thorpe detailed a battle with alcohol
in his 2012 autobiography, but Erskine said it was not a factor in Monday's
"There was no alcohol involved, he hadn't been drinking or anything
like that," he said.
"The hospital then suggested - or more than suggested, I think - that he
should go into rehab for depression and that's what's happened."
Thorpe's father Ken told the Sydney Daily Telegraph he hoped his son would
"He is battling with his health issues at the moment and he is having a
tough time," Ken Thorpe said, reportedly choking back tears.
"But hopefully in six months' time he will be out the other side."
Thorpe is Australia's most decorated Olympian with five gold medals at the
2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games, with his extraordinary success attributed
partly to his abnormally large feet and hands.
He became the first person to win six gold medals at one world
championships, in 2001, among 11 world titles overall - along with 10
Commonwealth Games gold medals.
But the demands of a celebrity lifestyle and grinding training sat
uncomfortably with Thorpe and he quit in 2006, dabbling in jewellery design and
television after his retirement, before a comeback when he failed qualify for
the 2012 London Olympics.