Michael Phelps Won’t Shut the Door on Another Comeback

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Phelps insisted after the Rio Olympics that he was done swimming competitively, and he officially took his name out of the WADA drug-testing pool sometime before mid-November. But he admitted to the Associated Press this week that a future comeback is not totally out of the question.

According to the AP, Phelps said he had not yet gotten the “itch” to return to competition, but if he does attend the World Championships this July in Budapest, that might change things.

“The true test will be, if I do end up going over to the worlds this summer, do I have that itch again?” Phelps said, according to the AP.

The story mentions Phelps’ attendance at the 2013 edition of the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, when the U.S. men fade to silver in the 400 free relay. Phelps indicated that that relay was part of the spark for his first comeback, one that resulted in six medals, five of them gold, at the Olympics in Rio.

Phelps, who attended at least two sessions of this weekend’s Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa as a spectator, remains convinced that, unlike 2012, the 2016 Olympics in Rio were the perfect ending to his career.

“I never had that moment before to sit back and think about what I had done,” Phelps told the AP. “I’m so stoked that I came back for (the 2016) Olympics. I finished exactly how I wanted.”

In recent months, Phelps has become a vocal voice on anti-doping, speaking before Congress in February to explain the need for more standardized anti-doping procedures worldwide.

Read the full story from the Associated Press by clicking here.



  1. avatar

    I don’t think you should be able to take yourself out of the anti-doping program and come back more than once in a career. No matter what you believe and who it is, it’s shady as hell to start off an Olympic cycle with not being available for testing only to be reinstated in a timely manner. Possibly two times, no less. That would be nothing short of a joke for the greatest Olympian of all time.

    If he truly has those thought I hope he makes himself available for testing asap. Otherwise I believe WADA needs to ban him from making a comeback because it’s just not right to bend the rules that way.

  2. Brett Davies

    I think he will in the end make another comeback

  3. avatar
    Michael Maloney

    if he comes back should he give up all his awards he got for his last comeback….Laz award and they gave him extra golden googles because he was leaving….i hope he stays retired…just saying

  4. Janet Johnson

    There is style and grace in knowing when the approriate time to retire is at hand, and I believe he is already there.

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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