Michael Andrew, Michael Brinegar, Rhyan White Withdraw from SC Worlds


A trio of American swimmers have returned home from the Short Course World Championships early. USA Swimming confirmed the news, but refused to share any details, as they have with other COVID-related withdrawals.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Michael Brinegar, Michael Andrew and Rhyan White have withdrawn from their final events at the FINA World Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi, and will return home to the U.S,” the short statement from USA Swimming read.

A spokesperson in Abu Dhabi said that she could not share any other information.

This makes for 5 total American swimmers who have withdrawn from the meet for COVID-related reasons. The other two, Katie Grimes and Lydia Jacoby, were more specifically announced to have withdrawn “due to COVID-19 protocols.”

The lack of detail makes it hard to parse the difference between the Grimes and Jacoby decisions and the three new withdrawals on Sunday. It is believed that Grimes and Jacoby were pulled out for exposure and/or a positive test and will be required to isolate in Abu Dhabi for at least 7 days before returning home, whereas the other three voluntarily withdrew to avoid the same fate if they tested positive.

USA Swimming’s statement about Grimes and Jacoby did not mention returning home to the United States.

Indiana head coach Ray Looze confirmed that Brinnegar, who trains at Indiana, is returning home to avoid an infection that would result in a quarantine in Abu Dhabi. “It’s just not worth being stuck there for 10 days,” Looze said.

Brinnegar was scheduled to swim in the 1500 free, his only individual event, later in the meet. White dropped the 50 backstroke on Sunday, which meant no Americans swam the race. She won gold in the 200 back and silver as part of the 200 medley relay earlier in the meet, and was likely going to swim a leg of the American 400 medley relay on Tuesday.

Andrew skipped prelims of the 50 fly on Sunday, and without him, USA Swimming missed the medals in the 200 free relay in finals. He had not been swimming near his best times to this point of the meet.

Andrew, who was infected with COVID-19 earlier this year, wasn’t vaccinated at the Olympics. He said in his most recent vlog post that he is still unvaccinated.

A number of British swimmers have withdrawn from the meet too, and anecdotally, it appears that COVID-19 fears have begun to spread throughout the meet, which could lead to more absences over the final 2 days of competition. Some coaches and athletes are pondering, or have decided to, withdraw from the event early to avoid getting a positive test and having to quarantine in Abu Dhabi. This has left countries scrambling to fill relays – the British men scratched both of theirs on Sunday.

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1 year ago

MA will never be an Elite swimmer.
Some may say he already is, but he hasnt won anything important .
He is too worried about being the smart guy in the room, his training is the best, his covid views etc.
I think his father is trying to put him in the right path, out of his annoying blog, annoying other swimmers etc.
He cant just help himself i guess.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcelo
1 year ago

I’ll say it- boo to the athletes walking away from representing their nation. It’s one thing for a team to withdraw completely, but to leave teammates behind is weak.

You knew what you were getting into joining an international travel team during a pandemic.

Massive applause to those that are seeing through their commitment to USA Swimming.

The Truthiest Truth
Reply to  MY MOM!
1 year ago

You’ve clearly never been stuck in a hotel room for ten days in Dubai.

1 year ago

MA wearing clown shoes again….

Ray Finkle
1 year ago

If Phelps was coached by his dad in a backyard pool (Kansas) would he be a good as Andrew?

Nobody cares what you think of MA’s vax choice.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Ray Finkle
1 year ago

Most likely not since MP’s best events were different from MA’s and required more volume due to Olympic schedules.

Ace Ventura told me Lt. Einhorn was interested in what people thought of MA’s vaccine choice……and Detective Emilio too.

1 year ago

Definitely not worth infection. Got Covid almost a year ago and still dealing with problems. I’m 22.

Robert Todd
1 year ago

Wouldn’t you need to test to get on the plane home?

Reply to  Robert Todd
1 year ago


1 year ago

Settle down…forget the hysteria and fear and get back in the water!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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