Ian Thorpe addresses gay rumours.

Ian Thorpe

In an interview for a new documentary for ABC called The Swimmer, former Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has spoken of his battle with depression. He’s also addressed rumours surrounding his sexuality.

In the show, which documents his return to the pool after a four-year break, 29-year-old Thorpe said he went through a dark period during 2010 when his business ventures (such as his own underwear and sports drink lines) were failing.

“I was down,” he said. “I call it the dark times.”

The documentary also talks about Thorpe’s popularity in the gay community. But when asked whether he sleeps with men or women, he said “ah, women.”

“Being asked about (being gay) gets annoying,” he said. “I think people feel threatened by me because they can’t define exactly what I am.”

On missing out on a place in the Australian Olympic team for the 2012 London games, he said: “It’s tough to comprehend. I worked so hard to do this, I haven’t really thought about what to do now.”

Here are some of our favourite Ian Thorpe memories: