Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Ryan Lochte: I have no doubt Michael Phelps will come back

Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps

IRVINE, CA - AUGUST 08: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte react after their swims in the Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly Final during the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships at the Woollett Aquatic Center on August 8, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Ryan Lochte believes longtime friendly rival Michael Phelps will “be ready for Rio.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he will be back in the water,” Lochte said Tuesday.

Phelps was pulled over and arrested on DUI charges in Maryland on Sept. 30, announced he would attend a six-week program on Oct. 5 and suspended for six months by USA Swimming on Oct. 6. He will not swim at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Lochte unsure who is world’s best swimmer

Phelps, who came out of a 20-month competitive retirement in April, has not said if or when he will return to swimming competition.

Lochte, a teammate of Phelps at the last three Olympics, correctly predicted two years ago that Phelps would eventually come out of his post-London 2012 retirement.

Lochte believes Phelps will race again with an eye on his fifth Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in two years, because of the same reasons he unretired earlier this year.

“Once you’re in that racing mode, it’s hard to get rid of,” said Lochte, an 11-time Olympic medalist who will swim at the World Short Course Championships in Doha, Qatar, next month. “He missed that excitement.”

Lochte didn’t say whether he has been in contact with Phelps since the arrest.

Natalie Coughlin, also a three-time Olympic teammate of Phelps, said she reached out to Phelps.

“Just to tell him how much we care about him, and we want him to be well,” said Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist who will also race at short course Worlds. “I think he’s taking the proper steps in his life to get his life in order. Hopefully we’ll see him back in the fold. It’s a blessing for us to see him race.”

Jennifer Kessy, Emily Day form new beach volleyball partnership

Follow @nzaccardi