Michael Phelps Pledges Not to Drink Until After the 2016 Olympics

‘If I'm going to come back, I need to do this the right way’
Michael Phelps Pledges Not to Drink Until After the 2016 Olympics

The 18-time gold medal Olympian says he’ll wait until he finishes his last year of competition before drinking again. 

Michael Phelps, the American swimmer who, with 22 Olympic medals (18 of them gold), is considered the most decorated Olympian in history, has made a pledge not to drink any alcohol until the end of the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Phelps has been arrested twice for drinking under the influence, and received a six-month ban from competition by USA Swimming for the most recent incident. The punishment led Phelps to undergo inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation facility, and to enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous.

“Before I even went to court, I said to myself that I'm not going to drink until after Rio — if I ever drink again,” Phelps told The Associated Press.

“That was a decision I made for myself. I'm being honest with myself. Going into 2008 and 2012, I didn't do that. I didn't say I was going to take a year off from drinking and not have a drink… If I’m going to come back, I need to do this the right way.”

Although Phelps conceded that there are “days I'm sitting on the golf course or sitting on my roof and would like to have a beer,” he told the AP, “I have a year left in my career. If I really want it bad enough, I will make that sacrifice.”

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