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Phelps aims to compete at Rio 2016
16 Apr 2015 13:01
Michael Phelps has, for the first time, declared his intention to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a bid to add to his record 18 gold medals.
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The 29-year-old American was speaking at a news conference at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, on his return from a six-month suspension imposed by USA Swimming following his drink driving conviction last September.
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Phelps said: "Hopefully I look forward to rejoining my team-mates next summer; leading into Rio something that I love is being part of the national team."
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He added: "You guys heard it here first. I am looking forward to next year. I don't think it's too hard to really realise why I came back."
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Phelps described his banned time as "the hardest couple of months I've ever had to go through in my entire life".
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Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, will miss this summer's World Championships in Kazan, Russia, following discussions with USA Swimming.
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"It's obviously very challenging and hard for me not to be able to participate at the World Championships," he added.
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"I do accept the decision that USA Swimming made back early in the Fall (autumn).
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"By no means do I want this to be a distraction from the team. I will be in full support of everything they do over there and I wish them all the luck in Kazan."
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