Hackett says drink not drugs behind mile high meltdown

Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:33am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian long distance swimming great Grant Hackett has admitted that binge drinking was behind his altercation with another passenger on a flight earlier this month and said he was seeking help to quit alcohol.

The 35-year-old former Olympic champion was spoken to by police after the incident on a flight from the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide to Melbourne.

Hackett has admitted to a dependence on prescription drugs in the past but said on Friday that the incident on the plane had come after he had been drinking in the wake of his failure to secure a spot on the team for this year's Rio Olympics.

"Illicit drugs are not an issue here. I get the prescription medication (inferences) from the history I have had, but certainly no. It was purely alcohol," he told reporters on the Gold Coast.

"I will seek help. I have decided to get off the drink - I don't want to see my life in this situation again.

"There is a deep sense of shame and regret for those it impacts and my kids are at the front of that line."

The Queenslander denied reports he had tweaked the nipple of his fellow passenger in the row over the reclining of a seat.

"I can't vouch for the person who is sitting ahead of me but everyone sitting around me has stated the same thing," he added.

"If I did touch him inappropriately I am very sorry. I have spoken to the gentleman and apologized profusely.   Continued...

Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett of Australia speaks at a news conference at an event to unveil the new line of Speedo LZR Racer X swim suits in the Manhattan borough of New York City, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar