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Michael Phelps says he 'never competed in a clean field once'

The 28-time Olympic medalist says positive tests should result in a lifetime ban.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

MICHAEL PHELPS TOOK time out from his the third year of retirement from competitive swimming and to speak out about the doping issues impacting the sport.

The most decorated Olympian of all time told CNN that the current state of play “needs to change.”

Phelps, 34, has won 28 Olympic medals, including 23 golds and believes he has ‘never competed in a clean field once.’

Doping controversies have taken an increasingly tight hold on sporting competitions across the globe. Russia was banned from the 2018 Olympics after a probe into doping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by saying that every country was guilty of doping.

“If you test positive once you should never be allowed to compete again,” Phelps said. In addition to speaking out about doping, he has been an advocate for mental health, water safety for children, and water conservation.

Phelps struggled with depression during his time as a competitive swimmer and has lent advice to other professional athletes during retirement, including Tiger Woods and Katie Ledecky. He told Business Insider in 2018 that it was a welcome change of pace to watch other swimmers but not participate himself.

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“I love being around the pool, I love being around the sport, but I don’t miss that grind that I put my body through for 25 years to get myself to be ready to be able to compete at a high level,” Phelps said. “I’m very happy with, I guess, the other side where I get to just watch.”

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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