Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe has been hospitalized in Switzerland as he battles an infection contracted during surgery.
The infection reportedly is serious, so much so that “those close to Thorpe are worried it could permanently [jeopardize] the full use of his left arm,” Network Seven reported Tuesday.
Thorpe’s manager, James Erskine, however, denied this speculation when speaking with Australian Associated Press on Tuesday, though he did confirm that the former Olympian’s swimming career likely is over.
“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.”
Thorpe, 31, has won five Olympic gold medals — the most by any Australian athlete — including three at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. He failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and instead worked the games as an analyst for BBC.