8 May 2009

Phelps said he considered retiring

12:16 pm on 8 May 2009

The American swimming sensation Michael Phelps is set to compete in his first race since winning a record eight gold medals at last year's Beijing Olympics.

The 23-year-old was banned for three months in February by US Swimming after photographs were published appearing to show him smoking cannabis.

The ban ended this week and Phelps will return to competitive action at a meeting in North Carolina next week.

At the meet in Charlotte, Phelps is only competing in two of the races he won in Beijing, the 200-metre freestyle and 200-metre butterfly, as he carries out his promise to target other events in the run-up to London 2012.

Phelps says he considered quitting after the publication of the picture which ended up leading to his ban.