I am not gay: Thorpe

I am not gay: Thorpe

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has hit out at the innuendo surrounding his sexuality that has followed him for much of his career, and said the most frustrating thing was the implication that he would lie about it.

"The thing I find hurtful about it is people are questioning my integrity and what I say... that this is something that I would be embarrassed about, or I would hide," he said in an interview with ‘ABC TV’.

"I don't want to offend anyone, whether they're friends that are gay or whatever else, by getting angry about it, frustrated about it. The only part of it I find frustrating is that people think I'm lying."

The five-times Olympic champion said speculation that he was gay had perhaps arisen because he did not fit into the stereotypical idea of how a successful Australian athlete should behave. "I behave differently, I guess, I like different things," he added.

"I'm a nerd, I'm just someone who just happened to be good at a sport as well... I like beautiful things in the world, I like the aesthetics of those things."