Ian Thorpe 'quite sick,' in hospital

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe never will swim again competitively after contracting two serious infections through a series of shoulder surgeries, his agent said.

Thorpe, who is receiving treatment in an intensive care ward at a Sydney hospital, is "quite sick," agent James Erskine told the Australian Associated Press.

"It's serious but it's not life-threatening," Erskine told AAP. "He's contracted two forms of bugs in [the] hospital. He's undergone two or three operations over the last two months so ... I mean bad luck. He's quite sick but that's the situation."

Erskine refuted reports that Thorpe, 31, would lose his arm, but said Australia's most decorated swimmer was likely finished in the world of competitive swimming.

"From a competitive point of view -- he will not be swimming competitively again I don't think," Erskine told AAP.

The infection is considered similar to the MRSA infection, according to the AAP.

Thorpe earned 11 world championship gold medals in a career that saw him win three golds in 2000 during his Olympic debut and two more in 2004 before retiring in 2006 at age 24. His attempt at a comeback in 2011 was a flop, as he failed to qualify for the team heading to London.