The swimming career of Ian Thorpe could well and truly be over after Swimming Australia opted to cut funding for the former Olympic champ.
Swimming Australia decided to support a number of veteran, well-known swimmers ahead of last year’s London Olympics, including Michael Klim, Libby Trickett and Stephanie Rice, but this week withdrew their allocated $100,000 of funding for Thorpe as the sporting body officially ended ties with the five-time Olympic gold medalist.
Thorpe’s professional swimming career has been over in the minds of many for some time and the latest news only adds to speculation Thorpe will never race professionally again. He was scheduled to compete in the world championship trials in Adelaide next month, but that won’t happen- Australia’s head swim coach Leigh Nugent hasn’t heard from Thorpe since October.
Thorpe has fallen off the radar after a failed comeback attempt prior to London and is believed to be living in Switzerland.
“I have no idea what he is doing or where he is, whether in Australia or overseas,” Nugent told The Sunday Telegraph via text message. “I have not heard from Ian probably since October.”
Australia opted to support Thorpe, and the other members receiving funding, despite the move ruffling feathers among the swim team.
Thorpe is rumoured to want to compete in next year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but he won’t be financially backed by his nation.
“Swimming Australia has not provided Ian with any daily training environment since the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic trials, and certainly no financial support,” SA president Barclay Nettlefold said last week.
Thorpe still believes he’s capable of brilliance- in a documentary that aired in January, the 30-year-old told the BBC that he didn’t have long enough to prepare for London and could once again reach his old heights within the next two years.