Gold medallist hooked on ice

Posted: 16th November 2012 by Doc in Uncategorized
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OLYMPIC gold-medal winning diver Matthew Mitcham has confessed to battling an addiction to the illicit drug methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth or ice, in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics.

The 24-year-old, beaten in the semi-final of the men’s 10m platform event at the London Olympics, made the admission in a forthcoming autobiography.

Gold medallist hooked on ice


It follows allegations surrounding the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team and the use of the controversial sleeping medication Stilnox, which was banned from the Australian Olympic team shortly before the London Games.

That decision, by the Australian Olympic Committee, followed the admission by another gold medallist, swimmer Grant Hackett, that he had been “heavily reliant” on the sleeping medication before the Beijing Games.

“I certainly was addicted to crystal meth,” Mitcham told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes. “I just felt like such a massive sham.”

The use of methamphetamine, which is associated with psychosis and aggressive, unpredictable behaviour, has increased dramatically within Australia in recent years, with recent police seizures estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mitcham, who won gold at the Beijing Games with what was then the highest-scoring dive in Olympic history, placed 13th in the semi-final four years later, missing out on the final by one spot.

His preparation had been disrupted by a torn abdominal muscle, which restricted the complexity of his dives, although he had previously claimed this had healed and he was in good physical shape.

Mitcham has previously said that he abandoned the sport as a teenager, leaving the Australian Institute of Sport in Brisbane, until he was convinced to make a comeback by the Sydney-based coach Chava Sobrino.

Other revelations made in his autobiography include a troubled childhood and a struggle with recurring depression.

“People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn’t changed me. I always responded ‘Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be’.

“I was lying. It wasn’t,” he states in the book.

Mitcham could not be contacted last night.

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