James Erskine, the manager of Australian Olympic legend Ian Thorpe, has now confirmed that the five-time gold medalist has been admitted to rehab for depression after being found disoriented on a Sydney street by local police Monday morning.
According to Australian reports, Erskine said that Thorpe had taken pain killers and anti-depressants following a shoulder surgery, and that there had been no alcohol involved in the incident.
“He had not been drinking,” Erskine said about the incident per The Sydney Morning Herald. “There was no alcohol involved. He was disorientated and tried to get in to what he thought was a friend’s car.”
Thorpe’s management had denied initial reports about him being admitted to rehab for depression and alcohol abuse, insisting that he had gone into a local hospital this past week for the aforementioned operation.
“The false reports did upset him,” said Erskine. “I’m not saying it sent him in a downward spiral but it did upset him. He didn’t go to rehab. That’s the truth…Everyone has to give him some space.”
Per the Herald, it is understood that Thorpe was with a friend at the time of the incident and that after finding Thorpe on Monday, police do not anticipate taking any further action.
More recent reports had Thorpe mulling over an early leave from Australia back to his home in Switzerland in order to escape the rising scrutiny over his health.
Australia’s most decorated Olympic champion has had to battle depression for many years now, detailing said battle in his 2012 autobiography.