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'Mental issues': Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Grant Hackett arrested

Grant Hackett was taken to a Gold Coast watch house

Former Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett was arrested in Australia after his "raving and ranting" forced his father to call police.

Hackett's father Neville called police to the family home about 12pm after the champion swimmer became agitated and verbally aggressive.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said a man had been arrested "following a disturbance at a Surfer's Avenue address at Mermaid Waters around midday".

Hackett, who was released three hours after his arrest, admitted to the waiting media that he was "not great" and promised to get help himself, reported 9News.

Hackett won 1,500 metres gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and at Athens in 2004 before retiring after the 2008 Games in Beijing, where he won silver in the event.

PENTHOUSE TRASHING: Hackett's wife Candice Alley called police after he reportedly went on a rampage through their apartment, smashing furniture and photo frames and upending a grand piano. "We're pleading for people to help us, we really are", he said.

He came out of six years of troubled retirement to try to make the Rio Games, hoping to become the oldest Australian swimmer to qualify for an Olympics.

In February 2014 Hackett was photographed wandering around Crown Casino in Melbourne in his underpants. That incident led to a five-week stint in rehab.

'We'll support him the whole way, ' he said.

A couple of years earlier, he was treated for a sleeping pill addiction.

Bertrand said Hackett was doing well when they spoke before Christmas. Westpac dumped him as a brand ambassador after the incident, while a children's charity also cut ties.

Local broadcaster Channel Seven posted video footage of Hackett being driven to a local police station in handcuffs. His high-profile marriage to pop star Alley ended bitterly, with both sides battling over prenuptial agreements and custody of their twins, Charlize and Jagger. Upon returning to Australia, he said he was ready to get his life back on track.

Hackett was questioned by airport police in Melbourne last April after being accused of drunkenly squeezing the nipple of a fellow business-class passenger on a flight from Adelaide, where the Olympic swimming trials took place.

Police are questioning Hackett, and it is understood he has not yet been charged.

Hackett traveled to the United States in 2014 to undergo treatment for a dependency on the sleeping medication Stilnox.