Ian Thorpe has battled with alcoholism since quitting swimming in 2006/AFPpic.
Ian Thorpe has battled with alcoholism since quitting swimming in 2006/AFPpic.

A “dazed” Ian Thorpe was discovered by police in a Sydney street in the early hours of Monday and taken to hospital, according to reports about the troubled swim star.

Thorpe, 31, was taken to hospital for the second time in as many weeks after being spotted in a suburban street in southern Sydney at about 3am, according to Ten News.

A 14-year-old boy raised the alarm after hearing a noise outside his family home and seeing Thorpe attempting to gain entry to a van in the driveway, Ten said.

He was reportedly “dazed” and under the influence of something, the network reported.

Police did not name Thorpe but confirmed to AFP that they responded to a 3am call-out in Panania “after concerns were raised for a man seen near a vehicle”.

“He was taken to hospital for medical assessment,” a spokeswoman said.

“No official complaint has been made and no further police action is anticipated.”

Thorpe’s management did not immediately respond to requests for comment but Ten later said they had confirmed that he had been admitted to a private rehab clinic for depression treatment.

Ten said his management told them Thorpe’s “disorientated” state was due to a mixture of painkillers and anti-depressants.

It follows media reports last week — refuted by his handlers at the time — that Thorpe had gone into rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.

Thorpe’s management firm SEL said the five-time Olympic gold medallist had been hospitalised for shoulder surgery.

Thorpe, one of Australia’s most recognised sporting figures, has struggled to adjust to life after swimming and made a failed effort to reach the 2012 London Olympics.

He has been open about his battle with depression and alcohol in the past, admitting in a 2012 autobiography that he had spent “a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression”.

“I suppose it was inevitable that I’d turn to other, artificial ways of managing my feelings, and I found alcohol,” he wrote.

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 his abortive 2011 comeback.


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