Corrected: Michael Phelps’ rant not about Milorad Cavic

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Michael Phelps went on a self-described “rant,” defending his clean record in a Facebook live video Friday.

It appeared that Phelps shot back at former rival Milorad Cavic‘s anti-doping comments, eight days after Cavic said Phelps’ recovery rate was “nothing short of science fiction.”

But Phelps later clarified that he was responding to a comment that somebody made on the live chat.

“I think that comment is so rude and so beyond anything that’s really imaginable,” Phelps said in a Facebook video. “You want to go and look at any results I’ve ever had in a drug test, go ahead. … If you think I cheated, that’s your own opinion. I know what I did in the sport. I know the hard work I put in. And I know what went into my body, and drugs were not one of those things.”

Phelps, who repeated last week in front of Congress that he didn’t think he had ever competed against a clean field internationally, again voiced criticism about doping in sports Friday.

“People who test positive in sports don’t deserve another chance to perform because they’re doing something that other people are doing with training,” Phelps said. “I know I busted my tail for years on end, in training, trying to get myself stronger and ready for every race. And that’s what I did. I had goals, and I achieved them because I worked hard to accomplish them. There are other people that are taking the easy, cheap way out, and they’re taking performance-enhancing drugs. That’s a joke. Sports in this world today, in my opinion, some of them are great, but some of them are also a joke because there are so, so many people that are trying to find a way to cheat and get away with it. And it takes away from sports. It takes away from the true meaning of what sport is. And that’s sad. And for me, as a father now, watching my son grow up and watching him to get in sports or grab a ball, do this, do that, I think that’s something that I hope changes in years to come, so my son never has to go through some of the things that I went through as an athlete.”

Phelps then apologized to his thousands of Facebook Live viewers.

“Sorry I went on that rant, guys, but this is something that’s such a passion for me that has to change,” he said. “It’s so frustrating when people sit there and say you cheated, or you do it this way or you do that. You don’t know. I’m the only one that knows. And all the other thousands of drug tests and vials of blood and cups of urine that I’ve had to give, open-handed.”

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MORE: Le Clos still has nightmares of losing to Michael Phelps in Rio

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Phelps’ comments were in response to Milorad Cavic’s comments from last week.

Noah Lyles clips Trayvon Bromell in personal best at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Noah Lyles
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Noah Lyles got his 2023 off to a personal-best start, beating Trayvon Bromell in a photo finish in the 60m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Boston on Saturday.

Lyles, the world 200m champion, ran 6.51 seconds. Bromell, the world 100m bronze medalist, also ran 6.51. Lyles prevailed by two thousandths of a second.

“I’ve been waiting on this for a long time,” Lyles, whose personal best was 6.55, told Lewis Johnson on NBC. Lyles is running the 60m to better his start as he bids to add the 100m to his 200m slate. “We’re not just coming for the 200m world record. We’re coming for all the world records.”

Grant Holloway extended a near-nine-year, 50-plus-race win streak in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.38 seconds, nine hundredths off his world record. Olympic teammate Daniel Roberts was second in 7.46. Trey Cunningham, who took silver behind Holloway in the 110m hurdles at last July’s world outdoor championships, was fifth in 7.67.

Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 60m in 7.02 seconds, one week after clocking a personal-best 6.98 to become the third-fastest American in history after Gail Devers and Marion Jones (both 6.95). Hobbs, 26, placed sixth in the 100m at last July’s world championships.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic and world 400m hurdles champion competing for the first time since August, and Jamaican Shericka Jackson, the world 200m champion, were ninth and 10th in the 60m heats, just missing the eight-woman final.

In the women’s pole vault, Bridget Williams, seventh at last year’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, upset the last two Olympic champions — American Katie Moon and Greek Katerina Stefanidi. Williams won with a 4.63-meter clearance (and then cleared 4.71 and a personal-best 4.77). Stefanidi missed three attempts at 4.63, while Moon went out at 4.55.

The indoor track and field season continues with the Millrose Games in New York City next Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

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Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

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One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

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