Australian long distance swimming great Grant Hackett was arrested and detained by police in the Gold Coast on Wednesday, February 15, after a “breakdown” at his parents’ home, local media reported.
The troubled triple Olympic champion’s father Neville Hackett told local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin, that he had called the police so his 36-year-old son could be given help.
“He just became abusive and aggressive. When I say aggressive, verbally, and didn’t make any sense and it was obvious that something was wrong,” said Neville Hackett.
Neville Hackett said the swimmer had not made any threats but was not “what you say is a normal person”.
“It is alcohol and I suspect from time to time, it could be prescription drugs,” he said.
Craig Hackett, the swimmer’s brother, told reporters:
“He’s dangerous, at times he is dangerous. He’s a danger to himself, he’s a danger to the community, and poor Mum and Dad have tried to look after him so much.”
Local broadcaster Channel Seven posted video footage of Hackett being driven to a local police station in handcuffs.
A Queensland Police spokesman said a man had been arrested “following a disturbance at a Surfer’s Avenue address at Mermaid Waters around midday”.
Grant Hackett’s agent was unavailable for comment.
Hackett won 1,500 metres gold 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.
He was questioned by airport police in Melbourne last April after an altercation with a passenger on a flight. He said he had been binge drinking in the wake of his Olympic disappointment and publicly apologised.
Hackett has previously struggled with prescription drug problems and admitted he became dependent on a sleep medication.
The swimmer flew to the United States in 2014 to spend time in a rehab centre after he was spotted topless and disoriented in the lobby of a Melbourne casino.