Hackett, who won 1,500 meters freestyle gold at the 2000 and 2004
Olympics, created headlines Down Under this week after being found
topless and disoriented at Melbourne's Crown Casino early on
"Grant is currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to
Stilnox medication," his manager Chris White told News Ltd media.
"His family and friends are enormously proud of his courage in
pursuing this course of action."
Hackett publicly admitted to a dependency to Stilnox in the leadup
to the 2012 London Games, prompting the Australian Olympic Committee
to ban athletes from using it.
The 33-year-old touched down in Los Angeles on Tuesday but denied he
was entering a rehabilitation clinic.
"No, not as such ... I'm just going away for a break and looking
forward to enjoying myself," he told reporters at the airport.
"It's a bit of an exaggeration ... I'm not calling this rehab
whatsoever. This is a retreat to get away for a while, to recharge
the batteries which I've been planning for some time."
Hackett's father said his son was in "a little bit of denial."
[to top of second column]
"He thinks he just needs a bit of a recharge and a rest," Neville
Hackett told local radio station Triple M.
"I'd say rehab is certainly something that's needed there."
Hackett's flight follows the troubles of another Australian swimming
great Ian Thorpe, who checked into a health clinic earlier this
month to seek treatment for depression.
The five-times Olympic champion, widely regarded Australia's finest
swimmer, had been taking anti-depressants and medication for a
Hackett, who has worked as a television pundit and for a local bank
since retiring from swimming after the 2008 Beijing Games, was
photographed shirtless in the lobby of Crown Casino where he was
staying at a friend's apartment.
He told local media he had rushed out of the apartment to look for
his four-year-old son after waking up to find him missing.
Though Stilnox was banned for Australian Olympians, members of the
country's 4x100m men's freestyle team took the sedative as part of
an unofficial "bonding" exercise in the leadup to London and were
later fined after an investigation.
(Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by Gene Cherry)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.