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Hackett hacked off by email vandal


November 17, 2000

The 1,500m champion learned of the attack a week ago but is only now discovering the extent of the damage.

He said he believed the hacker was a swimmer with a grudge against him.

"Somebody actually cracked into my e-mail address and has been sending abusive e-mails to people on the Australian swim team and people at certain swimming clubs around Australia and people I don't even know," Hackett told reporters, adding that the messages were vindictive and at times, very personal.

"I wouldn't like to go into it. Just basically things trying to get into my relationship with my girlfriend. Things that are really untrue.

"People have sent e-mails to me and he, or whoever it is, has sent e-mails back to them being abusive, calling them f-word names and telling them to stop sending me letters and trying to break up friendships with people I know.

"It's a bit harsh - there's some sickos out there." He thinks at least 50 e-mails were sent. "It's obviously some one involved in swimming to be able to have all these swimming addresses," Hackett said. "It's somebody in the swimming world who has some sort of a problem, some sort of mental disability I guess."

© 2000 Agence France-Presse

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