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Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement

(FILES): This August 17, 2008 file photo shows US swimmer Michael Phelps competing in the men's 4 x 100m medley relay swimming final at the National Aquatics Center during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing. USA Swimming suspended Olympic superstar Michael Phelps for three months on February 5, 2009, a "reprimand" after a published photograph showed him apparently smoking marijuana. The national governing body of the sport stressed that the punishment was not for a doping violation, but said they wanted to send a "s trong message" to Phelps about his status as a role model for young people.

Michael Phelps (Photo Credit: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

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AP – Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, the first step toward swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 22-time Olympic medalist will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26.

USA Swimming said Monday that Phelps is expected to join fellow Olympians Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky at the Arena Grand Prix at Skyline Aquatic Center.

Phelps returned to training last fall and re-entered the U.S. drug-testing program. He has completed his six-month waiting period to be eligible for competition by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Phelps turns 29 in June and is the winningest and most decorated athlete in Olympic history. He captured 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall at the last three Summer Games. He broke Mark Spitz’s record for a single Olympics by winning eight gold medals at Beijing in 2008.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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