LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s triple Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty played down on Tuesday a training camp clash with team mate Luke Greenbank that left him with a cut over his left eye.
According to the Sun newspaper, the incident occurred after the 28-year-old 50 and 100 metres breaststroke world record holder slapped Greenbank on the backside and joked about his partner, Olympic gold medallist Anna Hopkin.
The Times quoted Peaty denying that.
“Me and Luke are fine,” he said. “We had a moment and then shook hands immediately after some tension after a hard training set. I have no idea how Anna got dragged into this. I didn’t even mention Anna and it’s unfair on her.”
The paper quoted an unnamed witness as saying no punches were thrown.
“There wasn’t even any slapping. Adam made a remark that Greenbank objected to, picked up a piece of training equipment and threw it at Adam. The cut wasn’t intentional.”
Peaty and Hopkin were part of the team that won the 4×100 mixed medley relay gold in Tokyo in 2021 while Peaty and Greenbank won 4×100 medley relay silver at the same Games.
British Swimming confirmed there had been an incident at the camp in Loughborough that was “quickly and effectively resolved by the athletes involved and the staff present at the session”.
Peaty did not require any stitches after what his representatives described as a “minor altercation”.
The eight times world champion is working towards next year’s Paris Olympics, where he will try and win a third successive 100m breaststroke gold after taking time out to focus on his mental health.
He has previously spoken about periods of depression and problems with alcohol.
Peaty missed the 2022 world championships in Budapest after fracturing a bone in his foot and also missed the 2023 world championships in Fukuoka last July.
He said in March that he was tired and not enjoying the sport as much as before.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)