Former Olympic champ Hackett to enter rehab in US
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Former Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett has flown to the United States to undergo treatment for an addiction to the sleeping medication Stilnox.
Hackett’s father Neville confirmed media reports Wednesday when he told Australian radio station Triple M that friends and family met with experts who recommended treatment in the U.S.
News Corporation media earlier quoted Hackett’s manager, Chris White, as saying “Grant is currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to Stilnox medication.”
Hackett’s travel to the U.S. comes after he was photographed partially nude in the early hours of Saturday morning at his Melbourne hotel, searching for his four-year-old son.
Hackett won gold at the Sydney and Athens Olympics in the men’s 1,500 meters freestyle, an event he dominated for more than a decade. He also won Olympic gold as a member of Australia’s 4x200 freestyle relay team at Sydney and claimed 10 world championship titles in his 11-year career.
News of Hackett’s treatment comes in the same month that fellow Olympic swimming great Ian Thorpe was admitted to rehab in Australia after being found disoriented on a Sydney street by police responding to a call from residents.
Thorpe’s management at the time said the five-time gold medalist was affected by a combination of antidepressants and the painkillers he was taking for a shoulder injury.