Matt Mitcham, an Australian platform diver who won gold in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, spoke publically today about his struggle with a methamphetamine addiction ahead of the release of a tell all book to be released Monday.
Despite the admission of drug addiction, Mitcham is free to compete on future Australian Olympic teams.
In Twists and Turns Mitcham describes his dependence on the drug which stemmed from issues of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
His crystal meth use took off after he won gold in Beijing, but was still ranked No.2 in the world. “I had still failed to achieve my childhood dream of becoming the best in the world at something,'' said Mitcham.
Mitcham failed to make the final 12 in London this year, however he says in the book that Narcotics Anonymous helped overcome the drug problems of last year. He is already back to training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland.
The Australian Olympic Committee told the press Saturday that they were unaware of Mitcham’s drug problems ahead of London.
“We had no idea that he had a problem, he was his usual friendly, outgoing self in London,'' AOC spokesman Mike Tancred said. “He went out and supported all his teammates, was happy and chatty, the usual Matty.”
“We did know that before the games he had a horrendous run with injuries, but we were not aware of any issues with drugs. But we think that it is sad that such a talented athlete has been caught up with such a hideous drug, and we are glad to hear that he is on top of it.''
Mitcham’s drug use is considered recreational and does not fall into the category of performance-enhancing drugs.
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