Other Sport

'Proud' Hackett out of rehab

2014-04-02 07:42
Grant Hackett
Grant Hackett

Sydney - Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has left rehab after seeking help for an addiction to sleeping pills and says he learned a lot during his time in treatment.

Hackett, who won the 1 500m freestyle at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and claimed four world titles in the event, fled to the United States in February, days after he was pictured half-naked in a hotel lobby looking for his young son.

He initially denied he had a problem but his manager and father both said he was battling a dependance on Stilnox, a drug used to treat insomnia that athletes are sometimes prescribed for sleeping difficulties before big events.

His admission for treatment came just weeks after fellow Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe sought help for depression after a mixture of painkillers and anti-depressants left him disoriented on a Sydney street.

"It just gets to a situation in life where you're not coping too well, and you need to put your hand up and ask for help - I certainly got to that situation," Hackett told the Nine Network at Los Angeles airport on Tuesday.

"I feel proud of myself that I had the strength and courage to do that, because I want to have a great and happy life ahead of me.

"I want to be a great father and I want to do all those things properly.

"Certainly what I've learnt over the past five weeks has put me in a position to do all those things a lot better."

Hackett's departure from Australia came days after he was photographed in the early hours with only a singlet around his waist in the foyer of a Melbourne hotel, searching anxiously for his four-year-old son.

The former great, 33, retired from the pool in 2008 and has worked for the Nine Network and Westpac Bank since then.

But his reputation took a huge hit after he trashed his apartment in an alcohol-fuelled rampage in 2011 that saw his wife Candice Alley leave him. They have two young children.

Read more on:    swimming

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.