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Thu Apr 24 10:25:56 SAST 2014

Australia's Hackett dumped by charity

Sapa-AFP | 28 May, 2012 11:010 Comments
Grant Hackett is inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame at Crown Casino on October 20, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia
Image by: Robert Prezioso / Getty Images

Australian swimming great Grant Hackett has been dumped by a children’s anti-violence charity after pictures were published of his trashed apartment following an alleged drunken rampage last year.

Hackett, who won the 1,500m freestyle at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and dominated the event for a decade, was ambassador for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which cares for children who have experienced violence.

The organisation advised Hackett last week of its decision to relieve him of his duties, it said on its website on Monday.

“Grant’s management accepted our decision,” it said.

The move came after News Limited newspapers on Sunday published 15 photos police took after they were called to Hackett’s Melbourne penthouse last October by his singer wife Candice Alley.

They showed holes smashed in the walls, furniture overturned and a destroyed bedroom door.

At the time, Hackett downplayed the incident, saying it was an “unfortunate misunderstanding”.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month, he denied having a drinking problem.

“I, like most Australians, enjoy having a drink with my mates. However, to say that I’m a party animal or go out regularly is hurtful,” he said.

“Like when I was swimming I’m completely focused on what I’m trying to achieve and providing for my family.” 

The couple, who have two young children, announced their separation earlier this month after five years of marriage.

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