Skip to content

Bob Bowman: Nobody has filled Michael Phelps’ void in swimming

Nov 28, 2013, 10:54 AM EST

Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps AP

Michael Phelps‘ longtime coach explained why swimming needs Phelps and how long it would take Phelps to be competitive with the world’s best swimmers, if he were to come back, in a BBC article.

“Swimming needs [Phelps] because he shines a spotlight on the sport and adds a level of excitement we don’t get from anyone else,” Bob Bowman said while at the UK Sport World Class Performance Conference in Manchester. “When we’ve gone to some meets this year and he is not swimming, you see hardly anyone watching. The stands were full when he was swimming.”

It was revealed Phelps had re-entered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug testing pool on Nov .14, when he was attending the Minneapolis Grand Prix.

Phelps didn’t officially come out of retirement, but re-entering drug testing makes him eligible to swim next summer, when the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships will be decided.

“The two of us have a standard,” Bowman said, according to the BBC. “Should he choose to come back, I would never allow him to be in a meet unless he could compete near his top level. That’s just the way we do business.”

Bowman said Phelps would need “years of work” to be “competitive at the top.” He also cautioned this:

“I would say it’s more likely that he would not come back than that he would come back now,” Bowman said. “We just gave him the option to do it if he wants to.”

‘Female Phelps’ returns to competitive swimming

Latest Posts
  1. Ted Ligety (wrist) out this weekend

    Nov 28, 2014, 8:15 AM EST

    Ted Ligety Getty Images

    Olympic champion hopes to return for Beaver Creek next weekend.

  2. Gracie Gold leads NHK Trophy; Yuzuru Hanyu struggles

    Nov 28, 2014, 8:03 AM EST

    Gracie Gold Getty Images

    Grand Prix final picture includes plenty of Americans.

  3. NBC Sports, Universal to air unprecedented U.S. ski, snowboard coverage this season

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:06 PM EST

    Ted Ligety Getty Images

    Full schedule of coverage across World Cups, Grand Prix events and World Championships.

  4. U.S. figure skaters officially bronze medalists, 50 years later

    Nov 26, 2014, 7:42 AM EST

    Vivian Joseph, Ronald Joseph Getty Images

    Sister-brother team had bronze medals, but the official results didn’t reflect that until Tuesday.

  5. Katie Ledecky faces decisions in 2015, 2016

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:46 AM EST

    Katie Ledecky Getty Images

    Scheduling conflicts, another new event?

  6. Rio Olympic commemorative coins to be issued

    Nov 25, 2014, 9:27 AM EST

    Rio Olympic coins

    Christ the Redeemer, Olympic motto honored on the coins.

  7. Michael Phelps back in the pool; Phelps, Ledecky win Golden Goggles

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:23 PM EST

    Michael Phelps Getty Images

    Phelps is working toward 2015 goals, a North Baltimore official said.

  8. Pat Quinn, who coached Canada to gold in 2002, dies at 71

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:25 AM EST

    Pat Quinn Getty Images

    Canada won its first men’s hockey Olympic gold in 50 years under Quinn.

  9. Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza win World Boxing Championships

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:11 AM EST

    Claressa Shields Getty Images

    Olympic champion Shields was named the tournament’s best overall boxer.

  10. Viktor Tikhonov, Soviet Union Olympic hockey coach, dies at 84

    Nov 24, 2014, 9:17 AM EST

    Viktor Tikhonov Getty Images

    Tikhonov led the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice game.

  11. Sun Yang failed drug test, served three-month ban

    Nov 24, 2014, 8:42 AM EST

    Sun Yang Getty Images

    Sun tested positive for a substance he could have used legally if he filed paperwork with anti-doping officials.

  12. Ted Ligety expected back shortly after wrist injury (video)

    Nov 23, 2014, 8:38 PM EST

    Ted Ligety

    Video of how he suffered the injury was posted on Ligety’s social media.

  13. Maksim Kovtun rallies to win Trophee Bompard (video); Grand Prix Final picture

    Nov 22, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    Maksim Kovtun Getty Images

    It’s unlikely a U.S. man will qualify for the Grand Prix Final.

  14. Renaud Lavillenie, Valerie Adams win IAAF Athlete of the Year awards

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:10 PM EST

    Renaud Lavillenie Getty Images

    This year’s winners came from unprecedented nations and events.

  15. Ashley Wagner trails, Denis Ten leads at Trophee Bompard (video)

    Nov 21, 2014, 2:24 PM EST

    Ashley Wagner AP

    Wagner could match a Michelle Kwan feat at the French event.

  16. Angelina Jolie showed Louis Zamperini scenes of ‘Unbroken’ on hospital bed

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:59 AM EST

    Angelina Jolie, Louis Zamperini AP

    “Unbroken” film about Olympian and World War II hero comes out on Christmas.