Grant Hackett won't be a mentor to Australia's Olympic swimmers in Rio and has sworn off the booze after admitting he has a binge drinking problem.
Addressing media on the Gold Coast 12 days after a drunken incident on a plane from Adelaide to Melbourne, the triple Olympic gold medalist said he felt "a deep sense of shame, guilt, embarrassment and regret".
"I'm very, very sorry for my actions, very very sorry for the people it’s impacted," the 35-year-old said.
As sportsman's apology's go, this was a pretty good one. The last big Australian sportsman's apology was Mitchell Pearce, who looked like he'd rather be anywhere than where he was in talking about the infamous dog-humping couch-wetting episode.
Hackett looked like he wanted to be exactly where he was, doing exactly what he was doing: apologising like hell, then putting the past behind him and moving on.
Grant Hackett press conference: "There is a deep sense of shame, guilt, embarrassment, regret" https://t.co/xxhORUjI2Q— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) April 29, 2016
"To be honest I’d been drinking at the airport that morning. I was definitely drunk which as you can see was disgraceful and disgusting and quite excruciating to watch."
No argument from us.
"Being in that sort of state and binge drinking like that is an issue I need to address. I haven’t drunk like that in many months."
Hackett said his unsuccessful return to the pool and bid to make the Rio team had taken its toll.
"But in the end, getting myself into that situation is not acceptable at all and something I need to remedy. I’ll be seeking help around this. I’ve decided to get off the drink because I don’t want to see my life in this sort of situation."
Hackett said the he would always seek to be involved in Australian swimming at some level, but that he would not be a mentor to the team in Rio as it was his understanding that Australian swimming will not be taking any mentors to the Olympic Games.
The Huffington Post Australia spoke to a Channel Seven insider who said the network had not yet made a decision on Hackett's inclusion in the Rio Olympics commentary team.
But Grant Hackett made it clear this Friday that the most important thing is not his immediate or long-term employment prospects, but the role he sets to his children.
"I've got got two little kids that I love dearly and I want to make sure that everything I do is a positive for them," he said.
"Through my actions and stupidity I’ve compromised myself and like I said, there’s a huge amount of regret around that."Suggest a correction