Ian Thorpe is receiving treatment at an intensive care ward. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Swimming great Ian Thorpe is "quite sick" in a Sydney
hospital after contracting two potentially deadly infections
and will never swim again competitively, his agent says.
The 31-year-old five-time Olympic gold medallist contracted
the bugs after undergoing a series of surgeries on his
shoulder at a hospital near his home in the Swiss town of
Ronco sopra Ascona.
He has returned to Sydney and is receiving treatment at an
intensive care ward.
Thorpe has received a number of visitors in hospital and is
said to be in good spirits, despite the apparent seriousness
of his illness.
"It's serious but it's not life-threatening," Thorpe's agent
James Erskine told AAP.
"He's contracted two forms of bugs in hospital.
"He's undergone two or three operations over the last two
months so ... I mean bad luck.
"He's quite sick but that's the situation."
Mr Erskine rubbished reports Thorpe could lose the use of his
arm because of the infections but said Thorpe would never
swim again competitively.
"From a competitive point of view - he will not be swimming
competitively again I don't think," Mr Erskine added.
"The shoulder operation was a major operation, he's got as
many plates as Barry Sheene (the now deceased world champion
It's understood the infection contracted by Thorpe is similar
in nature to the potentially deadly Methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug that has swept some
hospitals in Europe.
It is the latest upset in Thorpe's life.
His father revealed in February that Thorpe was battling
The popular swimmer sought help in early 2014 after being
found disoriented near his parents' home in southern Sydney,
having taken a combination of antidepressants and medication
for a shoulder injury.
Thorpe was sent for medical assessment to Bankstown Hospital
and then entered a rehabilitation program.
The swimmer made an ill-fated attempt to compete at the 2012