The 31-year-old Australian, nicknamed the “Thorpedo,” contracted two infections after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, the newspaper said.
“It’s serious but it’s not life-threatening,” Thorpe’s agent James Erskine was cited as telling the Australian Associated Press. “He’s quite sick but that’s the situation.”
He added that “he will not be swimming competitively again, I don’t think.”
Reports differed as to whether surgery was carried out in Switzerland or Sydney. Australia’s ABC News, citing Erskine, said Thorpe is not in intensive care but is being treated with large doses of antibiotics.
Thorpe won three gold medals at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and two in Athens four years later.
He retired from swimming in 2006 before returning to the sport in 2011 and made an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the Australian squad at the 2012 Olympics in London.
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