Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps could be reinstated and compete for the United States in the 2015 World Championships in August, reports ESPN.com’s Bonnie D. Ford and Wayne Drehs.
USA Swimming suspended Phelps from all sanctioned events in October for six months following his arrest for DUI on Sept. 30. As part of his punishment, Phelps and USA Swimming decided he would not participate in the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Phelps received inpatient treatment in Arizona and pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, receiving a one-year suspended sentence and 18 months probation.
USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus told ESPN that he and Phelps have had talks about reinstatement, but nothing has been decided.
"It's complicated, but there are ways in which it could happen," Wielgus said, according to the report. “There's a pathway for things to be reconsidered -- or considered."
Wielgus would not be the one deciding whether Phelps would compete at the worlds. That decision is left up to national team director Frank Busch and the USA Swimming executive committee.
Phelps' suspension ends April 6 and he plans on competing in the Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa, Ariz. on April 15-18. The most decorated Olympian ever still has not publicly committed to participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fellow swimmer Tyler Clary said he supports Phelps’ reinstatement to the team, and would give up his spot in the 200 individual medley if Phelps was reinstated.
"He's vital," Clary said, according to ESPN. "I don't see myself as being a competitor at his level in the 200 IM, and I don't have the same chance of getting a medal."
- Scooby Axson