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Australian Olympic Champion Ian Thorpe Tells Interviewer He Is "Not Straight"

After years of public denials and battles with depression, Thorpe came out during a interview that aired in Australia on Sunday night. Updated with video of the interview.

Posted on July 12, 2014, at 11:37 a.m. ET

Australian Olympic champion Ian Thorpe came out as gay during a TV interview on Sunday, after years of public denials and a long battle with depression.

Gabriel Bouys/AFP/File

The swimmer made his statement during an interview with British TV personality, Sir Michael Parkinson.

View this video on YouTube

Parkinson told the Sunday Telegraph it was was one of the best interviews he had ever done.

"Ian Thorpe has always been near the top of my list to interview. The reasons are obvious. Not many athletes can claim to be the best of all time. Ian can."

Thorpe broke 22 world records and won five gold and three silver medals and one bronze medal at the Olympic Games before he retired for the first time in 2012 at the age of 24.

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/File

For years, Thorpe publicly denied claims that he was gay — despite persistent rumors and speculation of his sexuality.

GREG WOOD/AFP / Getty Images

In his 2012 autobiography, This Is Me, Thorpe wrote: "For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I'm attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day … I know what it's like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realising that it's not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was.''

He has also battled depression for years and was recently admitted to a rehab facility to treat it.

Matt King / Getty Images

In his autobiography, Thorpe wrote that his depression was so severe that he had, at times, considered suicide.

Channel 10, where the interview will air, and Parkinson have refused to confirm Thorpe's reported comments.

Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

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