What's buzzing:

Ailing Thorpe may not compete again, says manager

Reuters
Former world champion Ian Thorpe of Australia watches the swimming events at the National Aquatics Centre during the 2008 Beijing Olympics
.

View photo

Former world champion Ian Thorpe (L) of Australia watches the swimming events at the National Aquatics …

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe is in a Sydney hospital fighting a "serious" infection and is unlikely to swim competitively again, his manager told Australian media late on Tuesday.

The five-times Olympic champion had contracted "two bugs" after undertaking a series of shoulder surgeries, manager James Erskine told Australian Associated Press.

"It's serious but it's not life-threatening," Erskine said.

"He's quite sick but that's the situation ... From a competitive point of view - he will not be swimming competitively again, I don't think."

The 31-year-old was being treated with large doses of antibiotics, state broadcaster ABC reported earlier on its website (www.abc.net.au).

Erskine said Thorpe had undertaken "two or three" operations on his troublesome left shoulder in the past two months, and suggested the injury, rather than the infection, would force Thorpe from the pool.

"The shoulder operation was a major operation, he's got as many plates as Barry Sheene," Erskine said, referring to the late British motorcycling champion.

Erskine had denied earlier Australian media reports that Thorpe might lose the use of his arm because of the infections, AAP said.

The agency added that the swimmer had received a number of visitors at hospital and was said to be in "good spirits".

Thorpe's management was not available to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Australia's most decorated swimmer with 11 world championship golds, Thorpe was admitted to hospital earlier this year to treat depression after he was found disoriented in Sydney.

Police were called when a resident saw Thorpe behaving oddly near a vehicle and his manager Erskine later said he had been taking a mixture of anti-depressants and medication for his shoulder.

Thorpe won three golds in his Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games and clinched another two at Athens four years later, but surprised by announcing his retirement in 2006 at the age of 24, citing a lack of motivation.

Thorpe announced he would return to the pool in 2011 in a bid to qualify for the London Games but he flopped at national trials the following year and failed to make the team in either of his targeted 100 and 200 meters freestyle events.

Describing the comeback as a fairytale "turned into a nightmare", Thorpe said he would continue swimming.

He later revealed in his 2012 autobiography "This is Me" of a near decade-long battle with depression, including suicidal thoughts and regular alcohol abuse.

Though frustrated by injury setbacks, Thorpe last year told local media he had not ruled out a bid for the 2016 Games in Rio.

(Writing by Sam Holden and Ian Ransom; editing by Justin Palmer)

View Comments (1)
  • DTM champion Wehrlein says to join F1's Manor

    German Touring Car (DTM) champion Pascal Wehrlein will race for British Formula One team Manor this season, German media reported him as saying on Wednesday. The 21-year-old German, whose mother is from Mauritius, became the youngest DTM champion … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 46 seconds ago
  • Mladenovic falls to Siegemund in round 1 in St Petersburg

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- France's Kristina Mladenovic, seeded seventh, lost in the first round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Wednesday after a two-hour battle with Laura Siegemund of Germany. … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Britain should move pre-Olympic training camp out of Brazil - Ennis-Hill's coach

    Britain should move pre-Olympic training camp out of Brazil - Ennis-Hill's coach

    Britain should move its preparation camp for the Rio Olympic Games outside Brazil to minimise the risk of catching the Zika virus, Jessica Ennis-Hill's coach said, adding he would not encourage the reining heptathlon champion to defend her title. … More »

    Reuters - 13 minutes ago
  • Big European clubs support Infantino for FIFA presidency

    Big European clubs support Infantino for FIFA presidency

    By Julien Pretot PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's biggest soccer clubs have backed UEFA interim chief Gianni Infantino's FIFA presidential campaign having worked closely with the Swiss through their umbrella European Club Association (ECA) group. ECA … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 4 minutes ago
  • Pakistan await government go-ahead for World T20 in India

    Pakistan await government go-ahead for World T20 in India

    Pakistan are open to playing next month's World Twenty20 matches at a neutral venue if the government does not clear their tour of India over security concerns, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said. Pakistan's participation … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 11 minutes ago