Grant Hackett admitted he “stuffed up” and is embarrased by his behaviour aboard a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Olympic champion was videoed being helped off the plane by Collingwood Football Club CEO Gary Pert who was sitting opposite the swimmer in business class.
Hackett, who was apparently drunk, was soon after photographed slumped in a wheelchair.
It is alleged that Hackett had an altercation with the passenger sitting in front of him when they adjusted their seat. According to some media reports, Hackett is alleged to have twisted the man’s nipple.
The champion swimmer was questioned by Federal Police at Melbourne airport.
In a statement released to media, Hackett apologised for his “poor behaviour” unreservedly.
“I have stuffed up more than once and am working on these issues,” he said.
“It is embarrassing to hear and read the consequences of my actions.
“I apologise unreservedly to the gentleman on the flight. I am trying to make direct contact with him personally.”
According to Fairfax media, Hacket has apologised to the passenger, Martin Slobodnik, and will make a donation to their nominated charity.
Earlier this month, the multiple Olympic gold medal winner fell short in his bid to make a comeback to the Australian Olympic swimming team when he failed to qualify for the national squad headed for Rio.
IMAGE: Australian swimming great Grant Hackett. (By Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com)