04/08/2014 at 12:00 PM EDT
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe
is reportedly in intensive care due to an infection contracted after shoulder surgery – and he may never compete in the pool again.
Thorpe, 31, is being treated in Sydney and could lose use of his left arm, according to the Guardian
. Thorpe's agent James Erskine, however, told the Australian Associated Press
that the Olympian is not in intensive care, saying his client is fighting a "serious" but "not life-threatening" illness.
Regardless, Thorpe "will not be swimming competitively again," he said.
A five-time gold medalist, Thorpe is nicknamed "Thorpedo" for his speedy freestyle. He last participated in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
, failing to make the team for London in 2012.
Thorpe has struggled in recent years, battling physical and mental illnesses. In February, police found Thorpe wandering around in a disoriented state, and he entered rehab for depression.
His manager said Thorpe had been on a mix of antidepressants and painkillers due to a hurt shoulder, the Daily Telegraph
reported at the time.