' three-month suspension from U.S. Swimming is officially over, and he'll return to competition next week for the first time since Beijing when he swims in the Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim.
Phelps was suspended in February after a British tabloid published a photo of him smoking from a bong at a South Carolina party. That suspension expired Tuesday.
"I'm happy to be back in the water and be back in semi-shape," Phelps told the Associated Press. He said he's lost almost 20 pounds in the past two months. "I'm sort of getting back into racing shape and getting ready to race my first race since Beijing. We'll see how it goes."
Shortly after the photo was published, Phelps told The Baltimore Sun
that he considered retiring from the sport. But he now plans to compete through the 2012 Olympics in London and will get his first real international test in July at the FINA world championships in Rome.
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