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Aquatics | International

Grant Hackett © Getty Images

Hackett to seek help after family bust-up



Australian Olympic swimming great Grant Hackett says he will seek treatment overseas for mental health problems after what he called "the toughest week of my life".

The 36-year-old, who went into hiding after his brief arrest last week following a family bust-up, released a statement thanking "mum and dad for helping me through the toughest week of my life".

"I know I have some mental health issues and I am seeking help here in Australia and I will be also going overseas," he said in the statement released late on Tuesday.

In 2014, he checked into a US rehabilitation clinic to treat an addiction to sleeping pills.

Hackett's father Neville had reported the former 1 500m world record-holder missing, sparking fears for his safety.

The retired swimmer posted a picture on social media showing himself with a black eye, and accused his brother Craig of beating him up.

But Hackett said in the statement he had resolved those differences.

"My brother and I have reconnected and love each other very much - our family has always been our priority," he said.

Police released the double Olympic gold medallist last Wednesday without charge just hours after his family had him arrested following a bout of heavy drinking which led to "uncontrollable rage".

Hackett came out of six years of troubled retirement in 2014 in a bid to make the Rio Games.

But he narrowly missed out on a berth and after the Olympic trials in Adelaide last April, hit the headlines again with a public meltdown on a plane.

Hackett was accused of drunkenly squeezing the nipple of a fellow business-class passenger in an embarrassing incident which prompted him to vow to quit drinking.

He retired after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, having won the 1 500m freestyle at both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games. He also claimed four world titles in the 30-length event.

But Hackett quickly ran into problems with a messy divorce and allegations he smashed up his Melbourne home in 2011.



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