But James Erskine insisted no alcohol was involved, as the swimmer’s father expressed confidence his son would “come out the other side”.
Erskine told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 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 he thought belonged to a friend.
“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 yesterday’s incident.
“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.”