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Thorpe management deny claims

AFP-JIJI

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe’s handlers on Friday denied he was in rehab for depression and alcohol abuse and said he instead entered hospital for shoulder surgery.

It followed a front-page splash in The Sydney Daily Telegraph that the 31-year-old was injured in a fall this week leading his family to seek medical help for the swimmer, with Thorpe reportedly admitted to hospital on Wednesday for depression and alcohol abuse.

“Ian is not in rehab,” his management firm SEL said following the report.

“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.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist, one of Australia’s most recognised sporting figures, has struggled to adjust to life after swimming and with the disappointment of a failed effort to reach the 2012 London Olympics.

And he has been open about his battle with depression and alcohol in the past.