Presence of Michael Phelps at World Champs Would Be Measure of Consistency

Michael Phelps [photo: USA Swimming]

Editorial: There’s always a buzz surrounding any Michael Phelps news, regardless if it unfolds in or out of the pool. So, when a report surfaced on Tuesday night that USA Swimming had conducted preliminary discussions with Phelps about a potential reinstatement to the American roster for this summer’s World Championships, there was understandable chatter.

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Editorial: There’s always a buzz surrounding any Michael Phelps news, regardless if it unfolds in or out of the pool. So, when a report surfaced on Tuesday night that USA Swimming had conducted preliminary discussions with Phelps about a potential reinstatement to the American roster for this summer’s World Championships, there was understandable chatter.

Comments

RMG

I’m not sure it’d be fair to Phillips to lose his place on the roster months after it was announced, and presumably he’s structured his training around swimming the 100 fly at Worlds. However, the USA men have the roster room. If Clary is willing to cede his spot in the 200 IM, then Phelps swims that and (almost certainly) the free relays. Lochte is already swimming the 200 free and 200 IM, and he might not mind turning the 100 free over to Phelps. The only sticking point remaining would be the medley relay, but the addition of the mixed relays might help there by providing additional opportunities to get in swims. It’ll be interesting, for sure. A 4×100 free relay of Phelps, Feigen, Grevers/Lochte/Ervin and Adrian still has the potential to challenge for gold.

RMG

^To clarify, they have the roster room to add Phelps without removing Phillips.

felixdangerpants

Phelps will be on that medley relay, anyone on the team is eligible for relay action.

Rafael

Feigen qualified For worlds?

Craig Lord

No solo event, as far as I can see – he’s a top 5 fastest for 4x100m free relay, of course…

skugi

Phelps didn’t deserve a punishment at all. The court is the body that should punish him. His DUI has nothing to do with swimming and USA Swimming overreached in this whole situation in my opinion. You can’t start punishing athletes for what they do outside of sport because this is a very slippery slope and one can already see what major implications this could have on someone’s life.

a 1960s swimmer

skugi,
There are so many youngsters who admire Phelps and he is representing the USA for worlds. Punishments are always going to be unfair with highly visible persons. We all know too many college swimmers who have drinking problems. He must take on the responsibility to set good examples. If he can’t, then USA Swimming has to do it for him.

skugi

1960’s swimmer,
The body for punishing DUI is the court, if we start giving this kind of power to sport governing bodies they can then start dictating a huge part of an athlete’s life.
Whether he sets a good example or not, USA Swimming should not have any influence on the athlete’s life outside the sport.

1960's swimmer

Skugi,
Phelps is representing USA Swimming. As a member, he should be aware of its code of conduct.

Jim C

I think Phelps got off easy compared to Dawn Fraser.

aswimfan

Jim C,

Phelps got off far far far easier compared to Dawn

skugi

1960’s swimmer,
well I’m saying the code of conduct shouldn’t have anything in it that trespasses on the ground of the swimmers life outside of swimming.

Kate

The six month suspension that Michael Phelps got was meaningless. At worst he missed 2 Arena Pro events. He still got to train at OTC, which he did. At the Austin Arena Pro event he was on the pool deck. My understanding was the only people that are supposed to be on the pool deck are competing athletes and their coaches. At the American Short Course in Austin he swam an exhibition by himself. Again, isn’t he suspended? This was great for advertising his new Aquasphere suit, no one else to look at. That seemed to be a plus. He is not getting his stipend, big deal. That is a drop in the bucket to him. His exclusion from Worlds is really the only punishment he is really getting.
This is his second DUI in addition to the bong photo. This is not one incident, it is a pattern. He is a 29 year old man. He was driving twice the speed limit, hammered, weaving in and out of traffic, at one point pulling in front of a semi. That kind of speed comes under the heading of reckless endangerment. Everyone who defends his punishment should look at that video. If anyone wants to put the blame on the US team being punished, don’t look at US Swimming (who has the unenviable task of meting out punishment), look at the person who is really at fault, Phelps himself. He needs to finish out his punishment. My dad always said part of being an adult is taking your punishment like an adult, not trying to get out of it like a little kid.
Then what of Tim Phillips? Even if Phelps only takes Clary’s 200IM slot, that still puts Phillips in an awkward situation. If he does not medal in the 100 fly, you can bet that there will be some who will blame him for not moving aside for Phelps. That is not fair to him, he did nothing wrong. This whole thing should have never been brought up in the first place.
There are some, including Natalie Coughlin who say his punishment is based on his celebrity. So what? He is the face of US Swimming, he should be held to a higher standard. He has said on many occasions he wants to be a role model. Is being a role model not screwing up? No, but when you screw up over and over and don’t take your punishment, I would say that is not much of a role model. Sometimes, being a role model is taking the hit. This is more than just more medals at Worlds. This is about doing the right thing. This is about someone who endangered others lives by his actions and taking responsibility for it. That is more important than medals.

Craig Lord

Kate – anti-doping rules did not apply to Michael Phelps – his suspension was under USA Swimming disciplinary rules. I don’t know what the conditions of his suspension were under those terms but no international doping rules applied to him at all. Important to note the difference at a time of much discussion over terms of ineligibility involving other bog-name cases in swimming.

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