Former swimming champ Thorpe denies being gay

January 30th, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 30 (DPA) Retired Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe has denied he is in a sexual relationship with Brazilian housemate Daniel Mendes.”Over the last few days there have been a series of press articles published, speculating about my friendship with Daniel Mendes,” the five-time Olympic gold medallist said in a statement Friday.

“In the past, on several separate occasions, I have answered questions about my sexuality openly and honestly with the media … my situation in this regard has not changed.”

Thorpe, 26, referred reporters to remarks in an interview he gave shortly after his retirement in 2007 - comments that offended the gay community because they likened homosexuality to an illicit activity.

Thorpe said then that “the gay speculation, along with when I was accused of taking drugs in 2000, was an attempt to pull me down from the top”.

Mendes, 23, and Thorpe are both university students in Sydney and have shared a house for the past three years.

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