Troubled retired swimming star Grant Hackett of Australia was arrested at his family’s home today, February 15th after an apparent drunken rage. “It’s what I’d call a bit of a breakdown,” is how the 3-time Olympian’s father described Hackett’s behavior of ‘ranting and raving’ at his Southport home before calling the police. “Grant’s got a medical problem and it manifested itself here this morning,” his father, Neville, stated to The Gold Coast Bulletin.
Ultimately released without charge, the situation is just the latest in a series of bizarre situations involving Hackett, alcohol and what his family says is ‘now a chronic problem’. Last Spring, after not making his nation’s Olympic team last year after coming out of retirement, Hackett was involved in an alleged altercation on a flight. The victim accursed Hackett of having reportedly forcefully grabbed his nipple, “tweaking” it. Although the alleged victim said he felt “unsafe and violated” by Hackett and the swimmer was questioned by the Australian Federal Police immediately following the flight’s arrival, the victim decided not to press charges.
Hackett’s brother, Craig, told Australian reporters today, that, “From a mental health perspective, I hope something can be done. This is not Grant Hackett, this is a completely different person. I don’t know this person, my mum and dad don’t know this person. He’s there in body, but he is not there in mind, in soul or spirit.”
Hackett is considered an Australian swimming legend, having won gold medals in the men’s 1500m freestyle event at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics, while claiming silver in Beijing. He retired after that 2008 appearance, but made a valiant comeback last year, which resulted in his narrowly missing out on a 4x200m freestyle relay berth.