Ian Thorpe detained by Sydney police

Australian media report that Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe was taken to hospital following strange behavior.

    A 14-year-old boy witnessed a man attempting to break into his family's van in Sydney's suburbs [AFP]
    A 14-year-old boy witnessed a man attempting to break into his family's van in Sydney's suburbs [AFP]

    Australian media report that Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe was taken to hospital early Monday after residents of a Sydney suburb called police to report a man acting strangely near a car.

    The Australian Associated Press report that police spoke to a man in suburban Panania at 3.15 a.m. local time and he was taken to hospital for a medical assessment.

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

    Five-time Olympic gold medalist Thorpe, who has been living in Switzerland, has been staying with his parents in Panania in Sydney's southwest over Christmas.

    Channel Nine television news reported Thorpe had been found dazed and disorientated, adding that a 14-year-old boy witnessed a man attempting to break into his family's van.

    Channel Nine said Thorpe identified himself to police, and cited witnesses as saying he appeared intoxicated.

    It later reported that he was on painkillers and antidepressants.

    The police statements did not name Thorpe, but its information was given in response to about Thorpe by from reporters.

    The media reports come days after Thorpe's management denied a News Corporation story that the former swimmer had checked himself into rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.

    News Corporation newspapers, quoting friends of Thorpe, said the 31-year-old had been injured in a fall at his home and was taken to hospital.

    Reports said Thorpe checked into a rehab facility but later checked out and returned to his parent's home.

    Thorpe's management company, SEL, later issued a statement denying the reports.

    'Ian is not in rehab', a SEL representative said Friday.

    '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.'

    In his autobiography, published last year, Thorpe said 'not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression.'

    SOURCE: AP


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