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Olympic Swimmer Ian Thorpe Battling Infection, Could Lose Arm: Report

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Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe is reportedly in intensive care due to an infection contracted after shoulder surgery – and he may never compete in the pool again.

Thorpe, 31, is being treated in Sydney and could lose use of his left arm, according to the Guardian. Thorpe’s agent James Erskine, however, told the Australian Associated Press that the Olympian is not in intensive care, saying his client is fighting a “serious” but “not life-threatening” illness.

Regardless, Thorpe “will not be swimming competitively again,” he said.

A five-time gold medalist, Thorpe is nicknamed “Thorpedo” for his speedy freestyle. He last participated in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, failing to make the team for London in 2012.

Thorpe has struggled in recent years, battling physical and mental illnesses. In February, police found Thorpe wandering around in a disoriented state, and he entered rehab for depression.

His manager said Thorpe had been on a mix of antidepressants and painkillers due to a hurt shoulder, the Daily Telegraph reported at the time.