Ian Thorpe's management have denied the five-time Olympic gold medallist is in rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.

Reports on Friday suggested the former swimmer had entered rehab, but Thorpe's manager said the 31-year-old had been in hospital for a shoulder operation.

According to his representatives, Thorpe is now out of hospital and recovering.

"Ian is not in rehab," SEL Management said in a statement on Friday.

"Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder and is pleased to let his friends and fans know that he is now out of hospital and on the mend."

"Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder"

Thorpe has been living in Switzerland but returned home over Christmas, including visiting Melbourne for the Australian Open.

The former swimmer has previously detailed his experiences with "crippling depression" in his 2012 autobiography, as well as his use of alcohol "to rid [his] head of terrible thoughts".

Reports in Australia had suggested Thorpe had sought treatment for depression and issues with alcohol at a rehabilitation centre after being admitted to hospital in Sydney on Wednesday following a fall.

Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004 but a comeback attempt ahead of the London Games was unsuccessful.

Instead he worked as an analyst for BBC TV and developed a big following in the UK for his charismatic and informed views.

TV presenter Clare Balding, who worked alongside Thorpe in 2012, told the Guardian: "As well as being a sporting icon, Ian is such a warm, thoughtful and sensitive man. I very much hope we'll see him back to his best very soon."