Yesterday we reported how troubled retired swimming star Grant Hackett of Australia was arrested at his family’s home on 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.
Since the story broke, Hackett posted a graphic Instagram photo displaying a black eye he alleges he received from brother. “My brother comments to the media… but does anyone know he beat the shit out of me. Everyone knows he is an angry man,” was the statement accompanying the photo.
Additionally, Swimming Australia released an official statement on their website yesterday, offering support to Hackett and his family. “Swimming Australia believes that it is important that Grant and his family are given the necessary support in this situation and we will continue to support them throughout this journey to recovery, as we would do for any of our members,” reads a portion of the statement.
This is the 2nd time within the past year that Swimming Australia has had to release a statement regarding Hackett’s behavior. After the ‘nipple tweaking’ incident that occurred immediately after Australia’s Olympic Trials in April of last year, SA said, “Given Grant’s recent experiences, we are concerned for Grant’s welfare and believe that it is very important that we provide Grant with all the support we can provide to ensure his progress as a person remains on track.” As a result, Hackett was dropped as a potential mentor to the Olympic squad in Rio.
The most recent statement regarding Hackett’s behavior can be read below:
Swimming Australia is concerned to hear of the reports surrounding Grant Hackett on Wednesday February 15.
We are not aware of the full circumstances surrounding his situation but we offer our support to him and his family.
Swimming Australia believes that it is important that Grant and his family are given the necessary support in this situation and we will continue to support them throughout this journey to recovery, as we would do for any of our members.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said: “We have maintained contact with and support for Grant regularly and he has been engaged with the swimming network since his return to the pool in 2015. Since the 2016 Australian Championships, we have continued this contact. Both John Bertrand and I connected with him on separate occasions late last year following the Rio Olympics.
“Given these recent circumstances, we once again reached out to Grant and his family to continue to offer support and assistance in any way we can.
“Our primary concern is his health and well-being and personal welfare. Grant is a legend of Australian sport and an important part of the Australian swimming family.
“Through the Australian Swimmers Association and educational programs like ‘Beyond the Black Line’, we want to ensure that all of our swimmers throughout the course of their swimming journey are prepared and supported.
“Swimming Australia provides athlete support through its Personal Excellence and Performance Psychology programs into, through, and beyond the High Performance Pathway.
“This is an area of the sport that Swimming Australia takes very seriously”.
The Australian Swimmers Association (ASA) General Manager Daniel Kowalski said: “The health and wellbeing of our swimmers throughout their careers and especially following their exit from the sport is a major priority for us.
“We work closely with Swimming Australia to ensure swimmers are supported not only throughout their professional career but once they leave the sport as well.
“The ASA provides support and information relating to challenges that swimmers may face during their careers as well as information on the transition from swimming career to a life away from the pool.”
Swimming Australia will work hard to ensure we continue to offer the necessary support for all of our swimmers, both past and present.