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Borg Aide Said To Discount Reports Of Suicide Try

February 8, 1989

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ An adviser to Bjorn Borg was quoted as saying the former tennis star got an upset stomach and took barbiturates to sleep, not because he wanted to kill himself with an overdose.

The five-time Wimbledon champion from Sweden was rushed by ambulance Tuesday to Milan Polyclinic hospital, where he was treated and released three hours later. Hospital officials refused to give any details.

After returning to his Milan apartment, Borg told reporters only, ″I’m fine, it’s all over.″

The 32-year-old Borg and his Italian fiancee, rock singer Loredana Berte, rushed away later Tuesday in a taxi with a police escort. They did not say where they were going.

Italian news agencies initially reported Borg may have swallowed as many as 60 barbiturates in a suicide attempt. But they gave no official confirmation.

In Stockholm, the national news agency TT said Borg’s adviser, Ingmar Alverdal, called and said Borg got sick after eating at a restaurant.

″Borg felt sick ... and took barbiturates to fall asleep,″ Alverdal was quoted as saying. ″But his nausea got worse and in the morning, on doctors’ advice, he went to the hospital.″

Mara Savastano, a friend of the couple, said the singer told her Borg suffered from food poisoning.

Borg, who retired from professional tennis in 1983 at the age of 27, runs a fashion business and helps promote tourism for Sweden. He was considered a model sportsman on court with no known problems involving drugs or alcohol.

The hospital incident came a day after a former companion, Jannike Bjorling of Sweden, publicly aired disagreements with Borg over custody of their 3- year-old son, Robin.

In an interview published Monday in the Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet, Ms. Bjorling threatened to go to court if Borg tried to take custody of the child.

″He is going to be very angry,″ she said in a television interview Monday night on the U.S. program ″A Current Affair.″

Borg and Ms. Berte, 41, recently announced they would be married in Milan on Feb. 26. But recent newspaper reports said the date was postponed because Ms. Berte’s divorce from industrialist Roberto Berger was still pending.

Borg was previously married to Romanian-born tennis player Mariana Simonescu.

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