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  1. ITV Report

Phelps reveals ambition to compete in Rio 2016

Phelps wants to add to his record 18 gold medals. Photo: PA

Michael Phelps has, for the first time, declared his intention to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a bid to add to his record 18 gold medals.

The 29-year-old American was speaking at a news conference at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, on his return from a six-month suspension imposed by USA Swimming following his drink driving conviction last September.

Phelps said: "Hopefully I look forward to rejoining my team-mates next summer; leading into Rio something that I love is being part of the national team."

He added: "You guys heard it here first.

"I am looking forward to next year. I don't think it's too hard to really realise why I came back."

Phelps described his banned time as "the hardest couple of months I've ever had to go through in my entire life".

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, will miss this summer's World Championships in Kazan, Russia, following discussions with USA Swimming.

"It's obviously very challenging and hard for me not to be able to participate at the World Championships," he added.

"I do accept the decision that USA Swimming made back early in the Fall (autumn).

"By no means do I want this to be a distraction from the team. I will be in full support of everything they do over there and I wish them all the luck in Kazan."