Update 7:57 Central Time: Shortly after Peter Busch Broke this news, Phelps made the following Tweet that seems to deny a comeback, though he doesn’t explicitly state that he is not coming back. This could just be a cover, but it’s the closest thing we have to a from-the-horse’s mouth denial (or confirmation for that matter.) We’ll continue looking for an official, on-the-record statement from someone who knows and will state for certain one way or another. Busch acknowledged Phelps’ comment via his Twitter account, but says he still feels “very confident about [his] info”.
Original Post: It’s no joke: Michael Phelps is considering a comeback it seems. The man with more Olympic medals than any athlete in any sport in history (22) will return to the pool this coming weekend at the Olympic Training Center less than a year after saying he was stepping down for good after the London Olympics.
Phelps said many times that he had no intention of swimming professionally after the age of 30, but it would seem as though that might be where he’s headed (he would be 31 by the start of the 2016 Olympics.)
Peter Busch of NBC2 in Florida, says that he has confirmed the rumor as fact. His father Frank Busch is the USA Swimming National Team Director, so even though Busch doesn’t name a source, it would seem to be a pretty reliable leak of information. We have been unable to independently confirm the reports, however.
During his brief retirement, Phelps made a serious run into the world of golf, playing several ProAm tournaments and being the star of the latest season of the Haney Project on the Golf Channel, where pro golf coach Hank Haney tried to improve Phelps’ golf game.
Phelps will have to sit out 9 months after his return to the drug testing pool prior to returning to FINA and USA Swimming sanctioned competition. Nobody’s quite positive of when he reentered the pool, or even if he has for sure, but he wasn’t tested in the 4th quarter of 2012, meaning that it’s unlikely he’d be eligible for this summer’s World Championship Trials (or in shape, for that matter.)
Phelps is believed to be headed to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center in the next week to jumpstart his return.