Margaret Thorpe, the mother of five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe, has told an Australian newspaper that her son is considering leaving Australia to return to his home in Switzerland and escape scrutiny over his health.
The Australian swimming legend was hurt in a fall earlier this week and, according to local reports, was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday night. Today, Margaret denied reports that her son went into rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.
“We’re very, very angry at the moment,” she told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. “You can imagine how you would feel if you’d gone in for something relatively simple and it’s portrayed that he’s in rehab for depression and alcohol.
“Yes, he suffers from depression, he admits that, but he’s not in rehab.”
Ian’s own management has also denied the mid-week reports, claiming that he went into the hospital for surgery on his shoulder.
He has fought issues with depression and alcohol for many years, disclosing in his 2012 autobiography that he had abused alcohol on “numerous occasions,” particularly between 2002 and 2004.
Ian attempted a comeback for the 2012 London Olympics but failed to make the Australian team. He has since spent much of his time in Switzerland.