Phelps: “I Don’t Know If I’ve Ever Competed In A Clean Sport”

“I think I can honestly say in my whole career I don’t know if I have ever competed in a clean sport.”

Such were the words spoken by American Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian who is on his way to his 5th Olympic Games.

In light of the Russian scandal involving systematic, organized doping across multiple sporting disciplines, Phelps was asked about the general subject of doping at a Rio press conference this week.

“I will say the same thing I’ve always said and I think I speak for all the athletes as well, I want clean sports that is all.”

“We want everybody to be on the same playing field. For me I’m the only one I can control and I can control myself. That is all I focus on,” Phelps said, as recorded by Perth Now.

In terms of action needing to be taken, Phelps was clear that, “There is something that needs to change, but in all sports not just swimming. We have had this problem for how many Olympics now and how many times does this come up? It’s sad. That’s really what it is, it is really sad that we can’t control it. That somebody who was in charge cannot control this.”

Phelps’ longtime coach Bob Bowman concurred with his phenom swimmer’s point of view, saying, “But I would like to say from a personal standpoint, it’s very concerning to me that our governing bodies have dropped the ball in many ways on this.”

Bowman continued, “Our system is broken and it has to be fixed.”

However, the American duo states that the squad is in Rio to get the job done no matter the situation.

“From a team perspective we’re just focusing on getting the best performances that we can regardless of the circumstances,” states Bowman.

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Well I think we all know why phelps has never competed in a clean sport!! Might be because HE’s the one dopin! So yeah, he’s telling the truth that he’s never competed in a clean sport because every sport he goes to he just dirties them up. No way a 32 year old man can still compete in the Olympic Games on his own.


Please leave.

Sir Swimsalot

Is your butt jealous of all that crap that just came out of your mouth?

Displaced Wolverine

Peyton Manning won the super bowl at age 40.

phelps didn\'t dope, but pick a better example

and failed a drug test during his career…

Billy B.

Peyton is fairly well know to be taking growth hormone and likely testosterone replacement – at very least.

When we see guys like Lochte and Phelps show signs of reduced recovery rate that is a prime detail showing their hormones are naturally decreasing due to age. Swimmers that seem to never age… I can almost guarantee they use something if still recovering fairly fast past 30-35. Swimmers that do 1-2 events at that age and beyond is believable in my eyes.


No, actually he is not well known to be taking anything. You need to get your facts straight.


He took many tests. He was (might still) be in an anti doping agency.
Many 31 year Olds making the team is not unheard of at all. You are making assumptions that it is impossible. There has to be a greatest right?
Babe Ruth, Usian Bolt, Michael Phelps.


Also, Lochte made the team at 31
Ervin made the team at 31
Dara Torres made the team at 41

Attila the Hunt

Please do not mention Dara Torres in this context.


Why not?

No 1 cares

Haha cause she definitely cheated


LZR Racer may have helped. Remeber, these suits can improve some people’s time more than others. But no evidence for doping. She did it pretty fairly unless proven guilty


Ervin made the team at 35.


I meant to say 35, thank you sir.
He also made it at 19, and 31


Gonna play devils advocate but to be fair there is no way to be 100 percent sure he is clean. He himself is the only one that truly knows. Im a huge mp fan and really do hope he is and I believe that most likely he is clean but you never can really know. There are lots of cheats that still havent been caught. We all know it happens, I just hope none of his retests in the future come back positive. I would be so dissapointed. But for now there is no evidence against him so good luck in rio!


There is no way to be 100 percent anyone is clean. But we still move forward giving benefit of the doubt until there’s evidence otherwise.


Surely we can all agree that there is a difference between confirmed dopers, who have failed tests, and all the rest, who have been tested hundreds of times, and never failed. Its very simple, they are innocent until proven guilty. If they are eventually proved guilty (like Lance Armstrong) show them no mercy, but please leave the innocent alone until such time.


When Ye Shiwen won olympics and broke WR.
You guys suspect her doped.
No one suspected Ledecky and Franklyn.
Now both Ye and Franklyn flop the same.
You guys also suspect Ye doped.
No one suspect Franklyn.
What a double standard.

Actully I think Phelps and Ledecky are dopers for a long time.
Their record are too ridiculous to achieve.
We also know US is the strongest contry in biological technology.
Maybe US create a mystery drug which WADA can’t test.

Billy B.

Its completely different story when a girl with lower development performs out of her mind endurance… similar to simple effects of EPO that Tour De France athletes commonly use. Then she happens to not have that endurance. Don’t get me.wrong, not saying she used that, but cocktails of other stimulants and peptides can also dramatically increase red blood cell / aerobic capacity. Huge tools to allow a 29sec final 50 compared to very hard working developed women. We see a Ledecky come around and, lets be honest she’s built like a guy. Clearly has more testosterone and grew much more than typical girls. Her family seems like they care about her and likely feed her good. Its about as simple… Read more »


I agree it’s a double standard, but at the same time there are differences. 1, China is one of the countries with a dubious past in regards to doping. For the most part in the US it’s the athlete, not the system, that cheats. 2. While Ye Shiwen didn’t necessarily come out of nowhere, she had one huge explosive swim. Missy Franklin’s rise was much more gradual, and if anything, her plateau makes it seem more ‘natural’ to me – her improvements were due to puberty, and then she’s settled into her fully adult body.

Billy B.

Exactly. For cost and simplicity, China health systems for athletes are much more likely to give oral medication or supplements to an athlete (likely unknowingly) that contain banned or even new substances we cannot yet test for. Stimulants and artificial epo also notably don’t last forever and even with tools like those a girl like Ye Shiwen is maturing and likely converting youthful testosterone into Estrogens for feminine features and development. This could likely cause the poor results following since these athletes likely don’t have a stable nutritional foundation that would make them simply unbeatable. Hopefully this helps put some perspective behind people’s thoughts. I don’t mean to say I’m not completely wrong on my assumptions. Just that it could… Read more »


Yeah, you’re right, Phelps and Ledecky’s records certainly set a standard of excellence. Let’s not forget, Bestolen, Shiwen came back on the freestyle nearly as fast as the men in the 400 IM in 2012… That certainly raises some red flags. Oh and need I mention, Sun Yang was banned for doping. Maybe you forgot that and maybe you forgot that China is very guilty of doping. There is your double standard… Our “mystery drug” in the US can be found anywhere; its called hard work and dedication. Coaches prescribe hard work and dedication at every practice. I know it’s crazy right?… Oh yeah, I almost forgot the most important ingredient: the magical fairy dust we sprinkle over all our… Read more »


Ye is best at freestyle.
Lochte is best at back,2nd best at free.
I don’t think it’s strange Ye was faster than Lochte in freestyle of individual medley event.
Besides watch Lochte’s video,he slowed down when he was sure can win gold medal obviously.

And I admire your honest
You discriminate athletes just only they are Chinese.


Don’t play the discrimination card. Facts are facts. Honesty is the best policy.


Do you mean Franklin? Learn to spell.

RJ Cid

dont feed the trolls….


It’s a joke. He isn’t serious (at least I hope not).


If anyone thinks that any pro sports are clean you live in lala land. Pro athletes are all dirty. The difference is that a USA athletes have prescriptions so it’s all legal. Phelps is no secret. He has asthma, that’s a free ticket to steroids.


Clarification: The “steroids” in asthma medication are not the same as “anabolic steroids.” Asthma medication doesn’t make you bigger or stronger or faster. On the other hand “anabolic steroids” and testosterone derivatives such as those used by the East German women in the past and others do make you stronger and faster. They can also help with muscle recovery. Of course there are long-term health risks. It’s not worth it, but try telling that to an adolescent.


People want to believe in clean sport, in clean competition, it’s very hard to give up on that dream, however the odds on one individual winning 25+ golds….. I’d say it’s pretty obvious, hes human with human failings and addicted to winning, need I say any more!


He said he would like everybody to be on the same plaYing field. But Mike, how can you have a challenge, which you like, if nobody dopes and they can’t keep up with you?

Attila the Hunt

Are you saying that Chad Le Clos doped?

Billy B.

My first look at his big swims – yes. Doped. Again minimal Natural develoment, monsterous endurance without much muscle mass typically needed for the speed he has. Come on??? Compare the build of Phelps, Le Clos, Milorad Cavic, etc to Le CLOS and his meticulously fine tuned technique. Oh wait he doesn’t have that.

Its a VERY unfair sport, you are either genetically gifted or these athleted dope. We all know at least that first point is true… so why not accept the latter?


Sarcasm is dead remember?


I believe the ONLY reason Phelps lost to Chad was because he was not trained well. His swim was much more impressive. I would like to see Chad go 1:53.01 in bad shape.


Everybody here needs to calm down… it was a humorous compliment.


Why are they allowing Hosszu, Larkin, Seebohm and Gatlin to compete in Rio?


Hosszu, Larkin and seebohm?!?!? Lol what


“I just wonder how these swimmers like Hosszu, Seebohm or Larkin can swim best times or close to best times almost each time they swim.
Same questions about someone like Gatlin on track who can run times in the 100m about 9.80 every week from May to September.”

Is it not a legit question?
What do you think?

Billy B.

Everyone knows it takes PEDs to breach the top times in 100M. We are ignorant if we think otherwise.

You are clearly on point with these suspicions imo….

Billy B.

Go watch the troubles with Testosterone in Track and Field in back in the day… go talk to top track athletes no longer competing to care about the politics of it. Either they are naturally gifted at recovery and built mechanically to move fast or the lless fortunate take enhancements.


He was suspended for doping in 2008 i believe thats why he wasnt there. Now he is supposedly clean


A college coach told me once that swimmers should cheat where ever possible …,meaning where the officials could not possibly see (i.e. illegal kicks). The argument was everyone does it and if you don’t cheat you can’t keep up. The same argument was made by Lance Armstrong…he had to take drugs to keep up with the rest. That mindset does exist. But I probably would not go around accusing anyone without proof.


Completely agree, i was approached by a teammate and my coach to take PEDs to be faster. They said everyone does and you re crazy not to. Back then creatine was banned. These swimmers take stuff before its on the list then switch to the next best thing once it is on the list. Michael i am on the fence, his work ethic is crazy 100,000 yd/mtr weeks and the sets he and Bob do are crazy! I think asthma meds and ADHD meds help, funny so many National level swimmers have these conditions. When i was asked to provide my list they did a double take cuz i put none. Lol. Personally i think its too late, might as… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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