American swimming legend Michael Phelps is a 23-time Olympic gold medallist and one of the best swimmers of all time. In his professional career spanning from 2000 to 2016, Phelps won multiple races and never seemed content with settling for silver and bronze.
Although his achievements seem super-human, Phelps has never tested positive for any prohibited substance. In fact, he was one of the select few swimmers who were a part of USADA's voluntary program Project Believe.
As per the guidelines, Project Believe athletes can volunteer to provide additional urine and blood samples than required by the regular testing regime. Other Olympians that are a part of this voluntary program include Allyson Felix and Bryan Clay.
Phelps' views regarding doping are very straightforward. He believes athletes who test positive once should be barred from competing in the future. As per current WADA guidelines, athletes are usually banned for two to five years depending on the type of violation.
However, in case of a repeat violation, the athlete is handed a lifetime ban. In an interview with CNN in 2019, Phelps said:
"This has to change (doping). If you are banned once, you should not be allowed to compete again."
How many times was Michael Phelps tested for doping in Rio Olympics?
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Phelps won a staggering five gold medals in one go. His tally stood at eight at 2008 Beijing while, four years later in London, the number was four. In the buildup to the Rio Olympics, he was tested 13 times.
In a sport tainted with doping, Phelps has been a proponent of clean races and has never tested positive for any prohibited substance. However, his views on handing lifetime bans may not go well with those who believe in second chances.
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