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Thorpe's fitness weighs heavily on Australian minds

The mother of Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe has defended her son against reports he is overweight and lacking motivation to train since moving to Los Angeles.

A Sydney newspaper published a front-page photograph of the Olympic champion slurping on a soft drink under the banner headline "the good life catches up with Thorpedo."

The accompanying report claimed Thorpe had lost his will to compete at the highest level and was spending more time in the company of Hollywood actors than churning through the pool at training.

"Is this the beginning of the end of Thorpe's magnificent swimming career?" the report asked.

But Thorpe's mother Margaret hit back, saying her son was preparing for next year's World Champion-ships in Melbourne and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"I'm a little amazed by what's being said," she said.

"Ian has told me he is training and he is very happy over there and that's what I'm going to believe."

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