‘I was drinking and partying too much’: Adam Peaty opens up on booze, depression and drug cheats


Adam Peaty did not need to be diagnosed to work out what was wrong.

‘I was in a place where you don’t find any fun in anything or you don’t really see the point in anything,’ the British swimming superstar recalls.

It was 18 months ago that Peaty suffered from those symptoms of depression and, for a time, the Olympic champion and world record holder became more interested in booze than breaststroke.

Peaty has previously admitted to struggling with the comedown from winning gold at Rio 2016. But this is the first time he has spoken of the mental torment he also experienced two years later, triggered by a defeat in the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 — his first loss in four years.

‘After Rio, you get the post-Olympic blues, but my deepest low was at the end of 2018,’ the 25-year-old tells Sportsmail.

‘The Commonwealth Games was a tough time because I took a loss in the 50m and I am the fastest man on the planet, so why was I losing? That doubt creeped up. There wasn’t really that much belief in myself.

‘After the Commonwealths, towards the end of the year, I didn’t have any races. And when you involve off-season and you involve partying and drinking, that’s a depressant in itself, so I was doing that a lot. I kind of, not went off the rails, but I didn’t really have that overwhelming motivation to perform at something. And I am a performer, so if I don’t have something to perform at, I completely lose my track.

‘Add that in with all that partying and stuff, it wasn’t that great to have that all at once.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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