Sport

Grant Hackett 'safe and sober' but still in hiding following arrest and release

Troubled swimming champion Grant Hackett is "sober and safe", his relieved father has told media, after the Olympian was reported missing a day on from his dramatic arrest and release.

Hackett's father Nev addressed media outside his and his wife Marg's Gold Coast home to share their relief late on Thursday afternoon. Shortly after, two police officers entered the house to give them further information.

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Grant Hackett found safe and well

Father of Olympian Grant Hackett, Nev Hackett reported that his son is alive and sober, but wishes to remain in hiding.

Hackett's whereabouts remained unknown but Nev said his son was sober and safe, which was all the news they needed.

"He's sober. They haven't told us where he is. It doesn't matter. As long as he's alive. He can look after himself," he said.

When asked if it had torn the family apart, he replied: "No way. We're closer together now."

Nev filed a missing person's report with police on Thursday afternoon after he hadn't heard from his son for several hours.

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Hackett had last been seen leaving the Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast's main beach about 7.30am on Thursday morning, looking "very depressed and not in a good condition", his father said.

A 36-year-old man missing from the Gold Coast had been "found" safe just before 5pm, police confirmed.

Nev said they had feared the worst and spent part of the day out on foot looking for their missing son, who was said to be checking into a health facility but didn't want contact with his family.

"I'd say we were ready for the worst. Pretty tough. I'd hate it to get any worse because my wife is a wreck, as expected. We'll get through. We've been through tough times before," Nev said.

Concerns were raised early on Thursday morning after Hackett posted an image of himself to Instagram, lashing out at his brother Craig.

"My brother comments to the media ... but does anyone know he beat the shit out of me," he wrote.

"Everyone knows he is an angry man."

Nev Hackett told media on Thursday afternoon there was much more to the story of his son's facial injuries than had been let on to the public. Early on Thursday, Hackett posted an instagram image of a black eye and suggested his brother Craig had assaulted him at some stage.

"There's that story about Craig but there's much more to that story than what appeared on Facebook (Instagram) this morning. Much more. But our barrister has told us not to comment, so we won't."

Media had been camped outside of the residence for much of the day as news of Hackett's disappearance became public.

His father looked relieved to be able to deliver welcome good news as Hackett continued to try to tame the issues that led to his arrest then release on Wednesday.

The Olympian was arrested after a disturbance at his parents' Mermaid Waters home, where he allegedly became agitated and verbally aggressive.

He was later released without charge.

Brother Craig spoke to reporters outside the family home on Wednesday, saying the family didn't know how to deal with his erratic behaviour.

"The whole family have done everything that we can but now it's kind of out of our hands, it really is," Craig said outside their home.

"This is not Grant Hackett. This is a completely different person. I don't know this person; my mum and dad don't know this person," he said.

"He's there in body but he's not there in mind, soul or spirit.

"From a mental health perspective, I hope something can be done."

Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said the organisation had reached out to the Hackett family to support assist them in "any way we can".

"Our primary concern is his health and well-being and personal welfare. Grant is a legend of Australian sport and an important part of the Australian swimming family," he said in a statement.

People who need support can contact Lifeline on 13 14 11.

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