Thursday 23 November 2017

Swimming great Grant Hackett found 'safe and well' after being reported missing amid concerns for his mental health

Grant Hackett of Australia holds his silver medal for the men's 1500m freestyle swimming final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. CREDIT: REUTERS
Grant Hackett of Australia holds his silver medal for the men's 1500m freestyle swimming final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. CREDIT: REUTERS
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has been located safe and well according to Australian media outlets after being reported missing by his family on Thursday amid concerns about the triple Olympic champion's mental health.

Hackett, who has struggled with drug and alcohol problems away from the pool, was detained by Gold Coast police on Wednesday after his parents reported he had suffered a "breakdown" at their family home.

The triple Olympic champion was released after a few hours without charge but a day later, his parents said he had disappeared.

"He's definitely a missing person. He's mentally disturbed and needs urgent help... If anybody has seen him contact the media or the police or the Hackett family," his father Neville told local media.

"Grant, let us know where you are. We love you and we want to help you."

However, media quoted police as saying a 36-year-old reported missing on the Gold Coast had been found.

The swimmer's brother Craig told reporters on Wednesday that Hackett was a "danger to himself and to the community" and that his family were unable to help him alone.

Before he was reported missing, Hackett posted a photo of himself on Instagram with cuts and bruises to his face and said his brother had beaten him.

Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has posted a photo of himself with cuts and bruises on Instagram. CREDIT: GRANT HACKETT/GETTY IMAGES
Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has posted a photo of himself with cuts and bruises on Instagram. CREDIT: GRANT HACKETT/GETTY IMAGES

"My brother comments to the media ... but does anyone know he beat the s*** out of me," Hackett wrote on Instagram.

"Everyone knows he is an angry man."

It is unclear when or where the photo was taken and Hackett did not appear to be sporting any injuries when he was released without charge by police on Wednesday.

Hackett's father said the 36-year-old was "ranting and raving a bit" on Wednesday and the family had called the police after he refused to get treatment.

"He's big and powerful when he's not happy," Neville Hackett said. "We decided he needed some treatment but there was no way he was going to go and get treatment this morning, so we called the police."

Regarded as one of the greatest long distance swimmers of all time, Hackett won back-to-back 1,500 metres golds at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and at Athens in 2004 before retiring after the 2008 Games in Beijing, where he won silver in the event.

The 10-times world champion returned to the pool last year to make an unsuccessful bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

In the wake of national trials, he was involved in an altercation with a passenger on a flight and questioned by police at Melbourne airport.

He said he had been binge drinking after his Olympic disappointment and publicly apologised.

Hackett has previously struggled with addiction to sleep medication and spent time in a rehab centre in 2014 after he was spotted in the lobby of a Melbourne casino disoriented and wearing only his underwear.

Reuters

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport