Ian Thorpe says the identity of the coach who will hopefully take him through to the 2012 London Olympics is “no secret” but the champion swimmer has refused to reveal who it is.

Australia’s greatest Olympian flew out to Abu Dhabi on Thursday, knowing there is a long road ahead if he is going to make it to London.

Thorpe announced his comeback to competitive swimming three weeks ago – a day he described as “crazy”.

And while initially Abu Dhabi was going to be his main training base, those plans have since been revised, with the five-time Olympic champ heading to Europe by the end of March.

Thorpe is not eligible to resume competition until November 2, when he will have been back on the international drug-testing register for nine months.

“I’m really happy with how I’ve been performing over the last three weeks since I made the announcement,” he said at Sydney Airport on Thursday.

“Things are progressing well and I’ve just really wanted to get on the plane and really be able to start.

“This kind of feels like this is the next part of it.”

Australian head coach Leigh Nugent will join Thorpe in the Middle East next week, but speculation surrounds who he has chosen as a long term option.

“I have a coach,” insisted Thorpe.

“You can guess as much as you want.

“Look it’s not a secret … it will be public knowledge as soon as I start training. It’s no big deal.”