It was a bizarre story when it first came to light.
Olympian Grant Hackett wandering barely dressed through Crown Casino in the early hours of the morning after allegedly ‘losing’ one of his children.
But new light was shed on events, after Hackett’s manager revealed that he was headed to the US to receive treatment for his addiction to the sleeping pill ‘Stilnox’. Only a short time later, Grant Hackett himself denied the claims, saying he was on a planned ‘retreat’.
The multiple medal winner flew to the US last night to enter rehab.
The Herald Sun reports that a patron alerted security to Hackett wandering disoriented and wearing just an open hotel robe several hours before he ‘lost’ his child late Friday night.
The witness told the newspaper that she saw Hackett at 1.35am
“He just seemed to be standing there not really focusing on anything. To the right of him were two security guards, with one carrying his daughter. The security guard placed the girl on to the floor. Grant didn’t go to hold her or anything, which I thought was strange.”
Grant Hackett lives in Sydney but flies to Melbourne to visit his two children who reside with their mother, Candice Alley.
Several hours later he was photographed by hotel security cameras wearing just a singlet tied around his waist.
Hackett told reporters the next day that his four-year old son had let himself out of the hotel room, and that he was in a panic after finding his son missing.
Hackett has famously battled an addiction to the sleeping pill since he was prescribed it first in 2006 after a shoulder injury.
In 2012 he told News Limited that he always used them under the supervision of a team Doctor.
“At one point they scared me. They’re evil,” Hackett said at the time.
Sports doctors prescribe stilnox to athletes as the drug reportedly does not leave a ‘hangover’ effect the next morning, as other sleeping pills do.
But stilnox has been linked to some bizarre side effects such as memory-loss, hallucinations, delusions and impaired judgment and reasoning.
Hackett’s manager Chris White told News Limited that “Grant is currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to Stilnox medication.”
“His family and friends are enormously proud of his courage in pursuing this course of action.”
However, when Hackett landed in Los Angeles, he told reporters that “No, I’m not calling this rehab whatsovever … This is a retreat, to get away for a while, to recharge the batteries which I have been planning for some time.”