Former Olympic champion Grant Hackett says ‘angry’ brother beat him up

Swimming great posts a photo of himself on social media with cuts and bruises to his face and accuses his brother of assault

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 12:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 12:40pm

Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has posted a photo of himself on social media with cuts and bruises to his face and accused his brother of assault, a day after the triple Olympic champion was arrested for a disturbance at his family home.

Hackett, who has struggled with drug and alcohol problems away from the pool, was detained by Gold Coast police on Wednesday after suffering a “breakdown” at his parents’ home, his father told local media.

The swimmer’s brother Craig later told reporters that Hackett was a “danger to himself and to the community” and that his family was unable to help him alone.

My brother comments to the media... but does anyone know he beat the shit out of me. Everyone knows he is an angry man.

A post shared by Grant Hackett (@grant__hackett) on Feb 15, 2017 at 2:03pm PST

On Thursday, Hackett posted a photo of himself on Instagram showing bruising around his eye and cuts on his face.

“My brother comments to the media ... but does anyone know he beat the shit 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.

‘Mental breakdown’: Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Grant Hackett arrested

The incident has shaken Australia’s sporting community and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) expressed its concern for Hackett.

“This is just a big shock and surprise,” AOC president John Coates told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “I am very worried for him and his family.

“He is one of ours. He’s an Olympian, and one of our greatest Olympians. We’ll give him whatever support we can.”

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-time 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.