Ian Thorpe checks into rehab in battle against alcohol, depression

Ian Thorpe, one of the most successful Olympians of all time, has reportedly been admitted to rehab for alcohol abuse and depression.

Mirror.co.uk claims the swimmer has sought professional help in his battle against what he previously described as "crippling depression", as well as his abuse of alcohol.

Thorpe, who won five gold medals between 1998 - 2006 in a glittering athletic career, has also admitted to turning to alcohol to quell some of the negative thoughts that have plagued him for years.

Now officially retired after a failed attempt to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012, the 'Thorpedo' has been more than willing to let fans into his recent troubles.

Talking in his 2013 biography, cited by dailymail.co.uk, he said: "I used alcohol as a means to rid my head of terrible thoughts, as a way of managing my moods.

"I did it behind closed doors, where many depressed people choose to fight their demons before they realise they can't do it without help."

Now it seems the swimmer has finally resorted to finding help and is said to be spending time at a rehab clinic in Sydney, Australia.

Despire his previous admissions, the news has taken many people surprise. Only last week Thorpe was spotted at the Australian Open tennis tournament sharing a joke with model and friend Tahyna Tozzi.