Grant Hackett of Australia (L) and Ryan Cochrane of Canada (R) in the pool after the Men's 1500m Freestyle during Day 9 of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 17, 2008.
Grant Hackett of Australia (L) and Ryan Cochrane of Canada (R) in the pool after the Men's 1500m Freestyle during Day 9 of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 17, 2008. Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Stilnox cost Hackett Olympic gold

GRANT Hackett's former coach, Denis Cotterell, has no doubt the controversial sleeping medication Stilnox cost the champion distance swimmer the 2008 Beijing Games 1500m freestyle gold medal and a unique place in Olympic history.

Cotterell, who coached Hackett throughout his career until they parted company in 2007, and who was on the China team's coaching staff in Beijing, revealed that he was approached independently by Australia head coach Alan Thompson and by Hackett's roommate, Ashley Callus, to speak to his former swimmer at the Olympics to try to calm him down.

Hackett is understood to have been sleepwalking in the Beijing Olympic Village after taking Stilnox, and that he had previously fallen heavily on a long flight after being given the drug by a team doctor.

Another Australian swimmer was dubbed "Trippin" by teammates after also sleepwalking on a flight having been given Stilnox, the nickname referring to the fact that the swimmer had tripped several times while under the influence of the drug.

The swimmer had no recollection of his actions.

 

>> To read more head to the Fox Sports website. 


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